911 system blocked commander in school shooting

17 killed in shooting at Stoneman Douglas HS on Valentine's Day. (CNN)

The sheriff overseeing an investigation into the Florida school massacre is defending a much-criticized law enforcement official who oversaw the initial response.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Thursday that Broward County sheriff's Capt. Jan Jordan's response was crippled by the county's radio system. The system became overwhelmed as dozens of first responders broadcast information and it started blocking new transmissions.

Jordan was the regional commander overseeing Parkland, the city where Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located. Some have criticized Jordan for not quickly taking charge of the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead and for not immediately ordering deputies to charge into the building to kill the gunman.

But Gualtieri said Jordan "couldn't communicate."

Gualtieri is chair of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. It is finishing a monthly three-day meeting Thursday with a discussion of the state's gun and mental health laws.

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