An investigation found that Scot Peterson, a former sheriff’s deputy who was serving as the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, did “absolutely nothing to mitigate” the mass shooting at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
[Read the latest story: Scot Peterson appears in court today]
The gunman in the massacre killed 17 students, teachers and staff, and wounded 17 others. Mr. Peterson, who was the only armed guard on campus, was charged on Tuesday with seven counts of felony neglect of a child for not doing more to protect students. He was also charged with culpable negligence and perjury.
Here’s what officials said Mr. Peterson failed to do:
He didn’t go into the building during the shooting or investigate the source of the gunfire.
Mr. Peterson had been trained that officers responding to an active shooter must “immediately go to confront the shooter” and “move directly and quickly toward known threat.”
But he did not enter the 1200 building at the school, where the gunman was shooting students and teachers, according to an affidavit filed in support of the warrant for his arrest.
Instead, he retreated to another building nearby.
Mr. Peterson fled to a spot about 75 feet away from the 1200 building, “remaining there during the entire incident” in what the affidavit described as “a position of increased personal safety.”
The affidavit also quoted a student, Arman Borghei, who said that as shots were being fired in the 1200 building, he looked out a window and saw Mr. Peterson: “I just saw him standing on the side of the building with his gun drawn, not really doing anything.”
He advised other law enforcement officers to remain away from the building.
At 2:28 p.m. — seven minutes after the gunman entered the building — Mr. Peterson said over the radio: “Broward, do not approach the 12 or 1300 buildings. Stay at least 500 feet away at this point.”
During the time Mr. Peterson remained outside the building, the gunman shot and killed six of his victims, including five students, and wounded four others, according to the affidavit. Seven of those victims were students under the age of 18, which is why Mr. Peterson was charged with seven counts of felony neglect of a child.
Mr. Peterson was charged with perjury for making a false statement that he did not hear any shots fired after he arrived at the building, except for the first two or three shots he heard, according to the affidavit.
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