(AP) — For almost a half-hour after a school shooter dropped his assault-style rifle and escaped Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, police officers thought they were seeing his actions live on the school's security system.
They soon realized the images were tape delayed, which Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi told the Sun Sentinel made a chaotic situation more confusing.
The 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz was captured an hour later in a neighborhood about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the school where 17 people died Feb. 14.
The newspaper reports police transmissions show that police initially couldn't get to security cameras. Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference he didn't know about the security system delays but would look into it.
The Broward County School District issued the following statement after the Sun Sentinel's report:
The District is aware of a recent article released in the Sun Sentinel, suggesting the surveillance camera system at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was operating on a delay. The information contained in that article does not accurately reflect the capability of the surveillance system. The District also believes the account of events reported in the article does not adequately or accurately reflect the full circumstances in immediately responding to the event.
The surveillance system definitely has the ability to view the cameras in real-time. It also has the ability to view the recorded footage and replay footage from earlier in the day. During the immediate response to the event, the system was being viewed in real-time and the recorded footage was being viewed to retrace the actions of the shooter. The District no longer has access to the video footage, as the server and all footage related to the incident was removed from the District’s possession through a search warrant as part of the investigation to the event.