PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - First responders raced to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after officials said, a gunman opened fire inside a building on campus, and their coordinated efforts, captured in radio transmissions, helped save lives.
Chatter between Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies captures the tense moments in the aftermath of the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives and sent more than a dozen others to the hospital, Wednesday afternoon.
Audio of the interaction captured the moment a deputy spotted the alleged gunman, later identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
“I have a gunshot victim. He’s by the — by the entrance to Westglades [Middle School], on the west side of the school,” he said.
A BSO SWAT unit entered the building as students seeking safety from the carnage were evacuated.
A deputy requested assistance with a student who had become trapped.
“Does anybody have bolt cutters? I can get this kid out of the fence,” he said. “He’s stuck in the fence I need bolt cutters.”
“The coach is with him. See if he can help him over the gate,” replied another deputy.
The SWAT unit used state-of-the-art equipment to follow Cruz inside the building.
“They are monitoring the subject right now. He went from the third floor to the second floor,” said a deputy. “He may have a gas mask on now. Stand by for further, they are monitoring him on camera.”
Deputies said Cruz ditched a backpack and appeared to attempt an escape shortly after.
“They’re following him on video, on the camera,” said a deputy. “They have him exiting the building running south.”
Then the hunt was on, with a description and a name.
“White male last seen wearing a burgundy shirt, possibly Nikolas Cruz. Black pants or shorts,” said a BSO dispatcher.
Fast-acting officers were able to track Cruz’s footsteps.
“I just spoke with Nikolas’ father,” said a deputy. “He said he spoke with him and said he was at the McDonalds by the school.”
Shortly after, Cruz was taken into custody about a mile away from the school, in the Wyndham Lakes community, in Coral Springs, just before 4 p.m.
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