Deputy assigned to Florida school ‘never went in’ during shooting, sheriff says

The school resource deputy who was on patrol at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 resigned Thursday after video surveillance showed he never entered the school, even though he “clearly” knew there was a shooting taking place, officials said.

Deputy Scott Peterson, of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was stationed on the school’s campus when Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, leaving 17 people dead and others wounded.


Sheriff Scott Israel during a press conference Thursday said video showed Peterson arriving at the west side of the building where the shooting took place. Peterson, Israel said, took up a position but “never went in.”

Officials said Thursday that the resource deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, never entered the building during Feb. 14’s mass shooting.  (REUTERS/Thom Baur)

Peterson was armed and in uniform during the shooting, but never entered the building despite “clearly” knowing a shooting was happening, Israel said.

The sheriff said he believes Peterson remained outside of the building for roughly four minutes, while the shooting in total lasted around six minutes. Israel said the officer never fired his weapon.

The sheriff told reporters he’s “devastated. Sick to my stomach. There are no words.”

When asked about what law enforcement agencies entered the building first, and at what time, Israel said that it “doesn’t matter who went in first” or “what order you went in.”

“What matters is that when we, in law enforcement, arrive at an active shooter, we go in and address the target,” the sheriff said. “And that’s what should’ve been done.”

Peterson, according to Israel, should’ve “went in. Address the killer. Kill the killer.”


The sheriff said that he suspended Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation, but the officer resigned and retired.

More on the Florida school shooting…

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