A Massachusetts officer who knows exactly what it's like to risk his own life for the safety of others criticized Florida cops who stood outside a high school building last week as more than a dozen students and staff members were murdered by a gunman.
"Your first priority is to neutralize the threat," Richard 'Dic' Donohue said on Boston Herald Radio's 'Morning Meeting' show.
Donohue was shot and nearly died in April 2013 during a police pursuit of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two brothers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.
Donohue explained that 'time is of the essence' when dealing with a crisis situation.
'When there's an active shooter, officer safety comes toward the bottom of the list,' he said. 'It takes a fatal event, it takes mistakes to really learn the lessons.'
Broward County Sheriff's Office did not return reporters' requests for comment.
Surveillance footage, from cameras at the scene, is currently being reviewed which will provide definitive proof of the sheriff's office response, along with an official report from Coral Springs officers.
But it seems that the Broward deputies' alleged failure to act is causing friction between the two law enforcement groups.
That growing resentment boiled over on February 15, the day after the fatal shooting, when officers from both Coral Springs and Broward attended the candlelit vigil for victims.
Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum angrily confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, in front of a dozen witnesses, over the claims that Israel's officers had remained outside the high school while students could have been bleeding out inside, sources said.
Coral Springs officers reported that they arrived at the scene on February 14, and were stunned to find all four deputies still outside the building, with their pistols drawn.
With some direction from the Broward deputies, the Coral Springs officers entered the building to track down the shooter.
Additional Broward deputies soon arrived, and two of them joined the Coral Springs officers inside the building, along with an officer from Sunrise City Police.
Israel has confirmed that video from the school shows Deputy Peterson, the school's armed response officer and former employee of the month, standing outside the building for more than four minutes while Cruz opened fire inside.
'What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position and he never went in,' said Sheriff Israel, referring to the building on campus, popularly known as the 'freshman building,' where authorities said the bulk of the shooting occurred.