Old Bridge Pathmark Shooting – Was the Police Response Adequate? [POLL]
Monday morning quarterbacking is pretty much in evidence in the wake of the Old Bridge Pathmark shooting which took the lives of 2 innocent overnight workers a week ago.
Various reports indicate that as police arrived, they waited at least 2 hours before entering the store…this as horrified coworkers of the shooter Terrence Tyler were hidden in a back room of the supermarket.
I'm a layman, like you might be as well...so I wondered myself how police could have waited outside the store in the wake of the frantic phone calls announcing the shooting.
Maybe ours is a "hollywood" version of what should have happened, but we wonder how the cops who first arrived stayed outside for as long as they did!
Questions remain about the response by police, who waited more than 90 minutes after arriving at the supermarket to enter and search for victims and those hiding throughout the store — including several who locked themselves inside a refrigerated storage room.
Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has not responded to repeated inquiries about what took county SWAT teams so long to enter, even as they acknowledged Saturday seeing three bodies down on the floor from the outside of the store.
A review of dispatch recordings made the night of the shooting shows police knew there was someone down on the floor of the store within 30 minutes of arriving on the scene, calling for first aid, but they did not attempt to enter the supermarket for more than an hour.
Last week, Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office, said there were no state guidelines for handling an active shooter scene, but added that officers are taught that if they don’t hear gunfire they should wait before entering a facility. He said the protocol typically is to seal the scene, create a perimeter, try to make contact with the people inside and wait for a SWAT team if there’s a hostage situation.
Apparently police needed to assess if there was more than one shooter present…given the barrage of information coming in from those either hiding in the back or managing to escape.
Reports indicate that police cordoned off the area as well as assisted in allowing those who attempted to escape to safely do so.
The incident at Pathmark ended when members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Special Operations Response Team, or SORT unit, were contacted and ordered into the store at 5:45 a.m.—an hour and 45 minutes after the first calls of gunfire. They found all three individuals dead. Two employees, who were unable to flee and hid in the store, were found.
So I ask you…do you feel those police on the scene could have done more?
Given the guidelines in place, it’s a simple answer…no!
However, I contrast this with the stories of heroism and bravery I heard just prior to the anniversary of 9/11 when police, fire, and EMS from all over risked their lives to try and save the lives of those trapped in the rubble following the attack.
In the latter case, nobody either on the job or off waited for "backup"! They went in and did what they had to do!