Columbine first responder wonders why Orlando police waited to go after shooter

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DENVER -- For some people, the Orlando, Fla., shooting is reminiscent of Columbine High School. One officer who responded to Columbine in 1999 has asked why police in Orlando didn't immediately go after the gunman.

Former Jefferson County SWAT leader Gran Whitus said Columbine taught law enforcement a hard lesson: That initial responders cannot back off because people will die.

In Orlando, an officer working off-duty at Pulse nightclub exchanged gunfire with the shooter outside the club, but did not follow him into the building.

"It looks from the initial reports the initial officers had a response then stopped, pulled back and went into negotiations, which allowed him more time to shoot people, which cannot happen in today's world," Whitus said.

Officers waited before breaking into the room where the shooter was holding hostages.

Whitus also said responding to active shooter situations is probably the most dangerous thing an officer can encounter.