So we’ve heard all the bad news that Broward County deputies didn’t enter the building. But there is another agency that did exactly what they were supposed to do: Coral Springs Police.
The Coral Springs Police Department is about 3 miles from Parkland, Florida. And while the Broward County Sheriff’s Department is the actual law enforcement agency for Parkland, Coral Springs is close enough that many residents work in Parkland.
When Coral Springs officers found Broward County deputies hiding instead of engaging, they moved forward. One Coral Springs officer who was working on the baseball field at the school was not only unarmed, he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
The Tribunist reported:
We can now thank Sgt. Jeff Heinrich of the Coral Springs Police Department. Sgt. Heinrich was off duty and unarmed at the time of the shooting. He has close ties to the school, and was actually on campus, watering a baseball field, when the shooting started. Sgt. Heinrich’s wife is an assistant athletic director at the school. His son is a student. Sgt. Heinrich was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and was unarmed.
When the fire alarm went off, he didn’t think it was unusual. The panic that ensued changed his mind. When he heard shots, he ran toward the sound of the gunfire. On his way to the school, he found a student who had been shot in the leg. Sgt. Heinrich moved the boy to a dugout and stabilized him with supplies in the baseball team’s first-aid kit…
He then ran back to the school. There, he met a Coral Springs SWAT team member who had extra gear. Sgt. Heinrich threw on an extra vest (one that wasn’t rated to stop rifle fire). The SWAT officer handed over his sidearm so Sgt. Heinrich wouldn’t be unarmed, and they entered the building.
Sgt. Heinrich ran into the chaos. He didn’t wait outside. The officers from Coral Springs led the way. Behind them, paramedics were able to triage and treat the wounded. The SWAT medics from Coral Springs provided crucial support.
The Tribunist article mentioned that Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum had a heated argument with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his deputies failing to engage the shooter. Though the tensions appear to be rising for Broward County, there is one department that can be proud of its response in the face of disaster… When Broward County dropped their balls, Coral Springs officers picked them up.
Featured photo: screenshot of an emotional Sgt Heinrich