First responders became emotional while discussing their recent involvement in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with Sgt. Jeff Heinrich of the Coral Springs Police Department revealing that his wife and son were inside the building.
Conversation in the media has largely been focused on the potential inaction of a sheriff’s deputy, who allegedly was armed yet didn’t confront the shooter. But there were indeed heroic officers on this fateful day, and they’re now sharing their stories.
Heinrich, who was initially so overtaken with emotion that he had to leave the podium during a Friday press conference, returned later to detail his harrowing story. As it turns out, his son plays baseball for the school and, when not on duty, Heinrich volunteers his time doing field maintenance.
That’s exactly what the officer was engaged in on Feb. 14 when the fire alarm went off inside Marjory Stoneman.
“On this day, I had just finished working on the grass area and I was actually watering the infield when the fire alarm went off,” Heinrich said.
He heard the alarm and saw kids walk out to the parking lot and, at first, didn’t think much of it. Then, he heard five or six gunshots, which he assumed were fireworks or some other high school prank.
“The kids were really not reacting in the parking lot,” Heinrich said. “And then all of the sudden the situation changed. Kids started to run, kids started to scream.”
When Heinrich heard five or six more shots, he dropped the hose and started sprinting toward the parking lot. He then encountered a young student who had a massive gunshot wound to the ankle and helped bring him to safety.
Watch Heinrich and other hero cops share their stories below:
Our First Responders will be speaking about their heroic actions taken on the day of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School incident. [Fast foward to 10 minutes in for start of stream]
Posted by Coral Springs Police on Friday, February 23, 2018
Not long after, Heinrich was able to reach his wife by phone and he learned that she and his son were safe. The two were on opposite ends of the school when the carnage broke out, but found one another while preparing to evacuate the building.
“By the grace of God, when they walked down the hallway, they found each other and they were able to shelter in place with two other teachers and 62 other students,” Heinrich said.
Once the officer heard this news, he said he felt a bit better. Then, despite not being in duty, he got an extra SWAT vest and gun and headed toward the school building, where he jumped into gear and helped clear the building, while also assisting victims.
“I remained on scene for hours doing whatever I could,” he said.
Thank God for hero cops and first responders, willing to risk their lives to help others.