Officer ‘never’ entered Florida school during shooting, resigns

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said resource officer Scott Peterson never entered the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting which killed 17 students and faculty members. Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI

Feb. 22 (UPI) — The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned Thursday after video showed he didn’t enter the school during the shooting, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday Israel said video showed Deputy Scot Peterson was on campus, armed and in uniform during the Feb. 14 shooting which left 17 students and faculty members dead. He “never went in” the building.

“A deputy arrived at the west side Building 12, held a position and he never went in,” Israel said.

Peterson was inside another building at the school handling a matter with a female student when the shooting began. Heremained outside the building where the shooting took place for “upwards of 4 minutes,” Israel said. The shooting lasted about 6 minutes.

Israel said Peterson should have entered the building, confronted the 19-year-old shooter Nikolas Cruz and killed him.

Peterson was suspended without pay following a review of his actions during the shooting, but Israel said the deputy chose to resign Thursday.

“I’m devastated, sick to my stomach, there are no words,” Israel said. “These families lost their children, we lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the homes where they’re sitting shiva. I’ve been to the vigils. It’s just, there are no words.”

Two other Broward Sheriff’s Office resource officers were placed on restricted assignment due to an investigation into how they handled calls regarding Cruz and his family members, but their names weren’t released.

Head of the internal investigations unit, Col. Jack Dale, said the agency responded to 23 phone calls regarding Cruz and his brother Zachary dating back to 2008.

“It’s unclear as to whether a policy violation occurred or not, so we feel at this point that they deserve extra scrutiny and to be reviewed and investigated,” Dale said.k


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