Ten people lay dead or dying on the first floor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s freshman building when assistant football coach Aaron Feis rushed across campus and burst through the structure’s west door to confront Nikolas Cruz.
The burly Feis nearly grabbed Cruz, who was heading up a stairwell to the second floor, when Cruz shot him.
Not far from the building, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy Scot Peterson heard the gunfire crack out the open door.
“I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired — 1200 building,” Peterson, the school resource officer, said over a BSO radio at 2:23 p.m.
It was Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, two minutes after the shooting started.
Much went wrong between the time Cruz started shooting at Stoneman Douglas and the moment 11 minutes later when law enforcement officers first entered the building through the same door Feis used: Broward County’s long-troubled emergency communication system broke down. Some deputies appear not to have followed active shooter training — which they hadn’t received since 2016. And agencies didn’t share crucial information that could have led to a faster response.
Even though at least three BSO deputies arrived in time to hear Cruz’s gunfire, neither they nor Peterson went into the building immediately to stop him — unlike the unarmed Feis. The first BSO deputies on scene said they could not pinpoint the shooting to Building 12, although Cruz was firing bullets through exterior windows — leaving visible holes — and students were running from the building screaming.
Read Complete Story at Miami Herald
Like this story? Want to know why tens of thousands of law enforcement people receive stories like this in their email twice a week?