MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office has suspended the deputy who leaked video of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting.
Deputy Michael Dingman, a 21-year veteran, is now suspended with pay as BSO continues to investigate.
Gossip site TMZ obtained the surveillance video of the moments when the accused gunman Esteban Santiago opened fire inside the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
International Union of Police Associations Local 6020 President Jeffrey Bell, who says he’s known Deputy Dingman for 15 years, says he finds the accusations surprising.
“I’ve always known him to be a reliable worker at the Sheriff’s Office, always a team player willing to help, would always volunteer to come in for extra assignments as well,” said Bell.
Before Tuesday’s county commission meeting, Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief said she did not specifically know who leaked the video, but she was fairly certain it was a member of law enforcement.
It’s video Sharief said was never meant for the public’s eyes.
“That is a huge trust issue for us. We want to make sure that people understand when they have a security clearance of that level to view sensitive information, that they hold that close to heart and they know what that means to the general public and to us,” Sharief said.
Sharief said it looked like someone used a cellphone to capture the video but it appears their reflection was captured as well. It’s a clue that gave away who was recording it.
“We were able to clearly see the association or agency that the person was with and identify some other significant characteristics,” she said.
Sharief said she wanted the person responsible for the leak to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
While the identity of the person who recorded the video and possibly leaked it is not known, the county has asked the FBI to investigate it.
Once the reflection was enhanced, they ruled out airport and FBI officials.
“Leaves BSO and a couple of other law enforcement agencies that were in that room,” said Sharief.
Earlier on Tuesday, Broward County commissioners honored officers who responded to Friday’s mass shooting at the airport.
Commissioners prayed for victims of the shooting, which included five killed and six injured – as well as thanked “do-gooders.” Each commissioner expressed their condolences and thanks.
“Let’s not let this act stop us from living fully,” said Broward Commissioner Dale Holness speaking about the shooting.
CBS4 News reached out to Deputy Dingman for comment but did not hear back as of late Tuesday night.