Virginia Beach Police rescue efforts were reportedly delayed because they lacked key cards to access to the building, The Associated Press reports.
Police were heard over the radio during the May 31 shooting begging for electronic key cards and debating various methods for opening the doors as gunfire erupted from inside the city offices, according to the report.
“The doors are locked, we need access keys,” police could be heard pleading.”I know I’ve got citizens in one area of the second floor I can’t evacuate.” (RELATED: Mass Shooters Pick Targets Where People Won’t Have Guns, Says Gun Crime Expert)
“Police responding to the deadly mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building were unable to confront the gunman at one point because they didn’t have the key cards needed to open doors on the second floor.”
— John R Lott Jr. (@JohnRLottJr) June 5, 2019
DeWayne Craddock, 40, shot and killed 11 people before he was killed by police. It is not clear how police eventually entered the building, or how long that took. Police did not immediately return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Security experts told The AP that police often lack quick access to cards or codes, which can delay rescue. The May 31 shooting lasted 36 minutes before police were able to stop Craddock, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.
City police are actually in the same Virginia Beach Municipal office complex as the operations building where the shooting happened, but apparently did not share the same security protocol. Police told The AP they had to run 300 yards to get to the shooting.
“We need to make sure that first responders have full access to the building,” said retired FBI agent Gregory Shaffer. “That’s definitely a blind spot that this particular shooting has shown.”
A similar situation occurred during the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., in September 2013. Officers only entered the building after finding the entrance key card on a deceased security guard.
In some cities, lock boxes have been installed to help police gain entry during an emergency, according to former Virginia police chief Tom Manger. He also said responders can’t have access to everything because “there’s not enough key cards and lock boxes in the world.”
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