Law enforcement officials immediately suspected terrorism and adjusted their staging areas due to fears about an explosive device as they responded to reports of shots fired at a gay nightclub in Orlando, according to sheriff’s office incident reports released Saturday.
In the reports, Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies describe receiving limited information about an “active shooter” as they rushed to control the chaos outside Pulse on June 12 in what turned out to be the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Sgt. David Legvold wrote that as he assessed all the sheriff’s office personnel and resources at the early morning scene, he was told by a superior that “this incident had been declared a National Special Security Event and should not be discussed outside the law enforcement community.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security makes that designation for events deemed to be potential targets for terrorism, mass protests or other criminal activity. Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia last year and this year’s Republican and Democratic national conventions have received this designation.
Legvold wrote that the commander of the sheriff’s office Critical Incident Management Team informed him about the special security designation, but it wasn’t clear where that information came from. A report by the lieutenant that Legvold identified as the team’s commander was not released.
Read More- US News
Image courtesy of AP
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