Broward Deputy Scot Peterson stands safely behind a concrete wall taking no action as high school students lay dead and wounded just feet away, newly released video of the Florida school shooting shows.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office released the 27-minute video Thursday of the former longtime resource officer responding to initial reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Peterson, who was assigned to the school and on site when the shooting began, is seen with a civilian security monitor at the start of the video, but spends most of the video standing outside the school with his gun drawn.
“The video speaks for itself,” the Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21. After being suspended without pay, Peterson chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face possible termination.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel previously said Peterson, who was armed when gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Parkland high school, “never went in[to]” the building that was under attack. The sheriff added that Peterson instead took up a position viewing the western entrance of the building — as the video released Thursday shows. Peterson remains in the area for the next 20 minutes. Responding officers arrive at the scene, taking a total of 11 minutes to enter the building from the time shots were first reported.
Cruz, who’s not seen in the video released Thursday, killed 17 people and injured 17 others that day with Peterson outside the entire time. Israel said Peterson should have charged in and tried to kill the gunman.
Peterson fired back at the sheriff’s words in late February. In a statement released through his lawyer, the ex-deputy said he initially didn’t enter the building because he believed the shooter was outside. He added that he wished he could have prevented the horrific tragedy, but denied being a “coward.”