Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old gunman who killed 17 people at his former high school, managed to flee the crime scene undetected — all because of a delayed security footage.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, a 20-minute delay in surveillance footage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has misled police after the fatal shooting of Cruz.
Apparently, authorities thought they were watching the suspect live on security cameras still inside the school premises. However, it was later revealed that the surveillance footage was actually 20 minutes delay.
Officers from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reportedly arrived on the crime scene around the same time the teen gunman was escaping. But the unexpected glitch on the security cameras stalled the police and allowed the suspect to run away.
In a video obtained by the outlet, authorities can be heard confidently saying that they have their eyes on Cruz and that he has moved from the school building’s third to second floor.
However, the police on the other end of the line responded that they didn’t see him anywhere. Officers even looked for the troubled gunman for 26 minutes before realizing that he wasn’t on the school grounds anymore and was on his way to McDonald’s.
“It’s about a 20-minute delay they’re following him on video, on the camera,” an officer confirmed on the transmission. “They have him exiting the building, running south.”
'Communication failure' led to 20-minute delay in school shooting video, chief says - Sun Sentinel https://t.co/XPAEYxZ0HC— Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) February 23, 2018
Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi revealed that they were not informed beforehand that the surveillance footage has a 20-minute delay. He added that the glitch made the situation more confusing and challenging for them but clarified that it did not slow down their efforts to rescue injured students.
Cruz was believed to have escaped the crime scene at around 2:28 PM and was caught an hour later in a nearby neighborhood. He was then taken to Broward Health North hospital, before being transferred to the Broward Sheriff’s headquarters.
It remains unclear why the surveillance footage has a drastic delay. However, Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Thursday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as other Broward public schools, have cameras that show real-time videos but can also be viewed on a taped-delay.
He added that he did not know authorities were confused about whether the footage was live or not.
“There would be no point in having a video system in the school with a delay. Why would anybody have that?”