Elder Patriot – Earlier today we chronicled the gross dereliction of duty that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s four deputies – the first four on the scene of the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. – were guilty of.
Their cowardice will not be forgotten especially in comparison to the heroism displayed by Coral Springs Police Officer Sergeant Jeff Heinrich.
Heinrich reacted will speed and selflessness.
Heinrich was working on the baseball field in a t-shirt and shorts when he heard the fire alarm followed by gunfire. He immediately dropped what he was doing and in the greatest tradition of those who earn the name first responders, ran to the sound of danger, not away.
His wife and son attend the school but that didn’t stop him from stopping to help a young man who he intercepted on his run to danger. The boy had suffered a shot through his ankle and Sgt. Heinrich brought him back to the clubhouse by the baseball diamond where he used the first aid kit that was there to stabilize the youngster before darting off to see what else he could do.
On his way back to the school Sgt. Heinrich met up with a member of his police force – a Coral Springs SWAT team member. That officer offered Heinrich his extra vest and his handgun.
He ran to the chaos wearing only a pair of shorts and wearing a vest that he knew wasn’t capable of stopping a round from an A/R 15 and with a mere sidearm.
Other officers from Coral Springs stormed the school along with Heinrich. Paramedics followed behind and were able to provide triage and treat the wounded. SWAT medics from Coral Springs provided crucial support.
It wasn’t until the officers from Coral Springs had responded and entered the building that late responding Broward police entered the building – and even then only two of them did. Broward had jurisdictional authority at the H.S.
This has naturally led to tension between the two departments largely because heroes have little stomach for wannabes.
Sergeant Heinrich addressed the media and showed the incredible humility associated with most great men.
It is at times like these we do well to reflect on the words of Teddy Roosevelt who said:
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.