According to a report from The Florida Sun-Sentinel, two SWAT team members from a Florida police department have been suspended from duty over their decision to respond without permission to the shooting at a high school that killed 17 students and faculty last month.
The SWAT officers, Jeffrey Gilbert and Carl Schlosser, were on duty and reportedly in the area when a gunman started shooting. They immediately headed to the high school even though they hadn’t been instructed to. According to the Miramar Police Department, that created a safety issue that resulted in their suspension, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Following their suspension, the two were ordered to turn in their SWAT-issued rifles, but they remain on active duty for other assignments, according to the newspaper.
A third SWAT member, Officer Kevin Gonzalez, was suspended for violating the department’s social media code of conduct over posts that portrayed the department and the city in a negative light, according to the publication.
Police union officials defended the two officers who headed to the scene without permission, saying they were following their natural instincts to help.
“While it may have been a violation of policy to not notify their supervisors that they were going there, their intentions were brave and heroic, I think,” Police Benevolent Association President Jeff Marano said, according to the newspaper.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., reignited a national conversation on school safety and gun control after survivors of the shooting organized a national campaign to demand action from lawmakers on the issue.
Later this month, students from the school are planning the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., to demand action from Congress on gun reform.