FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy has been suspended with pay in connection to the investigation of the leaked surveillance video showing the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left five people dead.
Shortly after the deadly airport shooting, surveillance video from inside the airport was released. Now a BSO deputy is being investigated for allegedly being behind the release of the footage.
TMZ was the first news outlet to share the footage of what shows the shooter firing upon unsuspecting passengers at Terminal 2 of FLL. TMZ is known for paying thousands of dollars to its sources when it comes to exclusive footage.
Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief said that they identified the person by his reflection on the screen. “This individual really had no gauge whatsoever in terms of sensitivity and in trust,” Sharief said.
The deputy has been identified as Michael Dingman, a deputy assigned to the airport district. Last month, Dingman was a featured source in a 7News report on illegal parking at FLL.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel released this statement regarding the leak: “Our investigation is moving forward. We are making progress and aggressively pursuing this case. Today, I suspended a deputy with pay in connection with this active investigation.”
“I feel like he shouldn’t be paid at all,” Sharief said. “This is a heinous, heinous act. It is despicable, and it’s discouraging to have someone do this, and it is a crime.”
Israel later spoke to 7News regarding the mayor’s comment and said, “Broward County Mayor is not the litmus test for what I do as sheriff.”
The video is a crucial piece of evidence in the federal investigation of the shooting. Israel did not say whether the investigation had been compromised. “I’m not saying he did anything. He didn’t do anything. We’re not discussing any of the behavior exhibited by the deputy,” he said.
However, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association president, Jeff Bell, phoned in to remind 7News readers and viewers that Dingman is innocent until proven guilty. “If anybody in law enforcement was proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have had involvement in releasing information like this, then obviously, you would condemn an action like that.”
The union said if Dingman is under investigation for the video, Sharief should be looked at for releasing information the day of the shooting.
“If they’re looking at someone for releasing a video, I would also ask them to seriously look at Mayor Barbara Sharief for her conduct and her revealing of information that is specifically tied to the investigation,” Bell said.
In the meantime, the suspect accused of the shooting, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago is in federal custody. Three of the victims from Friday’s shooting remain in the hospital.
Among the actions listed on the suspension memo are disclosure or use of confidential information.
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