With all of the negative attention surrounding the Broward County deputies who remained outside Parkland high school instead of engaging the shooter, the stories of the true heroes of that day have nearly gone unnoticed.
While their some colleagues hid behind cars outside, two brave Coral Springs police officers went in to confront the shooter and tend to injured victims. Officer Chris Crawford, an ex-Marine, recalled rushing into the "awful" and "surreal" experience of treating injured kids and trying to convince terrified victims it was safe to come out.
"was bad as you can imagine — times 10," Crawford said. I have a 2-year-old. I don’t want to send him to school." Crawford stuffed gauze into bullet holes of shooting victims. One student, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the back, shoulder, thigh, and arm while trying to hold the classroom door closed.
Crawford recounted having to slide his ID badge under the door of locked classrooms and closets to convince victims they could come out. "I had to negotiate [with them]. I don’t blame them," he said. The other officer who rushed to the children's aid is Sgt. Jeff Heinrich. Both his wife and son were at the school when the shooting began.
Heinrich was off-duty when he raced in to the school where he helped care for wounded until more officers arrived. "It was surreal," Heinrich said. "You never hope it would happen and it did." He said his wife and son were unhurt in the shooting, "by the grace of God."
A Coral Springs police dispatcher is struggling with her own experience during the shooting when she was left with a heart-wrenching choice to not give a Stoneman Douglas caller instructions for how to perform CPR to avoid making the caller a target.
Communications administrator Kathy Liriano recalled hearing gunshots echoing in the background of the call.
"I asked her, 'Is there any way that you can go help?' And she said, 'I can’t. I can’t help him right now'," Liriano said. These Coral Springs officers recounted their horrifying experiences while reports surfaced of four Broward County deputies who failed to enter the school during the shooting.
A mother of one of the students said she was baffled by Peterson's decision not to enter the school while children were dying he was armed. "Maybe he was in shock. There is no explanation," she said.
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/19130-Parkland-Florida-Armed-Deputy-Stood-Outside-Never-Went-In-During-Shooting">Parkland, Florida - Armed Deputy Stood Outside, ‘Never Went In’ During Shooting</a>
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