Boca Center Worker: “How Could They Not Let Us Know Gunmen Were On The Loose?”
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Boca Raton Police Department’s response to a shooting last night near Boca Center has led several readers to ask us if the police department responded — and notified the public — appropriately.
“It’s terrifying,” said an area resident contacting BocaNewsNow.com. “The police told us nothing. There were men on the loose with at least one gun and the cops told us nothing.”
A police involved incident was first reported by the police department’s automatic notification system — Nixle — at 5:45 p.m. The message warned of police activity in the area of Military and Town Center Circle with the added language of “avoid the area.”
There was no indication of a shooting. There was no indication that a gunman was on the loose, with three or four accomplices, in a highly populated section of the area.
BocaNewsNow.com reached out to the police department immediately and was told to expect information in “15 to 20 minutes.” But it wasn’t until 7:15 p.m. that we received a response that simply said, “update posted to Facebook and Twitter.”
Readers reaching out today — some of whom work in Boca Center — say they are concerned that there was no information that a gunman was on the loose in the area. While there was no indication that a suspect fled into Boca Center, home to Rocco’s Tacos and Brio — there was also no indication that he or she hadn’t. No one knew at that point that there was gunfire and a victim — information that could have encouraged people to lock down or seek shelter.
“The police failed us,” said a Boca Center worker. “How could they not let us know gunmen were on the loose?”
Police did not tell the media — or even transmit a second Nixle update — that suspects had fled the area. Those first minutes can be vital in identifying and locating suspects. Boca Center is full of shops, restaurants, a hotel and office buildings.
The police statement issued at 7:15 p.m: “At approximately 5:30pm Boca Raton Police responded to the area of Military Trail and Town Center Road for a report of shots fired. After an investigation, it was determined that the victim’s car became disabled at the intersection of Military Trail and Town Center Road.
The victim exited his car and proceeded to walk into the parking lot of Boca Center where the suspect followed him and fired a gun striking the victim. The suspect fled in a gray or tan sedan occupied by 3-4 black males.”
Boca Raton Police Spokesperson Mark Economou issued this statement Tuesday afternoon, “We assess every incident as details unfold. It was determined quickly that the suspect fled the area and there was no danger to the public.”
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