Warn­ing led of­fi­cer to seek cover in shoot­ing

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - LOCAL - By Lisa J. Huri­ash Staff writer RE­PORT, 2B

Coral Springs Po­lice Of­fi­cer Tim Bur­ton rushed to get to Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High when he heard over his ra­dio there was a gun­man there.

But when he got there, he found the school re­source of­fi­cer, Broward Deputy Scot Peter­son, seek­ing cover be­hind a con­crete col­umn, he said. Peter­son told Bur­ton “I needed to watch my back,” Bur­ton said in a re­port. So Bur­ton took cover in a park­ing lot.

Bur­ton’s first­hand ac­count is among the re­ports re­leased by Coral Springs po­lice on Mon­day. Bur­ton’s re­port stands out be­cause he was both the first on-duty of­fi­cer from the depart­ment to ar­rive. He also had an ex­change with Peter­son, who was crit­i­cized by the sher­iff for his re­sponse.

Coral Springs has been re­leas­ing re­ports piece­meal over the past two months, amid the on­go­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Feb. 14 shoot­ing. The gun­man, Niko­las Cruz, killed 17 peo­ple and wounded 17 oth­ers at the school.

Bur­ton said he held back dur­ing a brief wait un­til sur­veil­lance video in­di­cated Cruz had left the build­ing. Bur­ton wrote in his re­port that Peter­son told him he hadn’t heard any gun­fire for a few min­utes and didn’t know where the shooter was.

Bur­ton con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­ity Cruz was hid­ing and pre­par­ing a po­ten­tial am­bush. So he held back in the park­ing lot, hid­ing be­hind a tree trunk

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