Fox News has learned that in the critical moments as first responding deputies were searching for an active shooter on the property of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, a commanding officer on scene apparently ordered some of the initial responders to “stage” and set up a “perimeter” outside — instead of immediately ordering or allowing officers to rush in to neutralize the suspect, Nikolas Cruz.
“It’s atrocious,” a law enforcement source who was on the scene after the shooting told Fox News. “If deputies were staging it could have cost lives.”
The law enforcement source said responding deputies and officers were called to an active shooter scene in which they are trained to immediately “go, go, go” toward the direction of the shooter. “Every second is another life,” the source said.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office policy on active shooters indicates responding deputies may enter the building to preserve life without permission. That remains the priority until various objectives are met such as the shooter being detained. The policy does not appear to list staging — setting up an area to keep first responders safe before police secure a violent scene — or a perimeter as an immediate priority.
However, two law enforcement officials said the call for staging or a perimeter might not have been a bad call because staging and a perimeter eventually has to happen during most emergency situations and the commanding officer might have had information the rest of the crews did not.
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