Sheriff: Armed officer at school never entered building during shooting
The armed officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., resigned Thursday after an internal review found he did not enter the school during last week’s deadly shooting.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced Deputy Scot Peterson chose to resign after Israel suspended him without pay.
“Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed. He was in uniform,” Israel said at a press conference.
“After seeing video, witness statements and Scot Peterson’s very own statement, I decided this morning to suspend [him] without pay pending an internal investigation,” he continued.
Israel said Peterson chose to resign as he had met the necessary requirements for retirement. The sheriff noted that the investigation would continue.
“We’re not going to disclose the video at this time, and we may never disclose the video, depending on the prosecution and the criminal case,” Israel said. “But what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position — and he never went in.”
When asked by a reporter what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”
Israel said the video made him “sick to [his] stomach” and left him feeling “devastated.”
“There are no words,” he said.
A gunman killed 17 people and injured multiple others during a shooting at the high school last week.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, was apprehended off school property after the shooting and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The attack has reignited the national debate over gun control as survivors of the shooting have called on lawmakers to enact stricter gun control measures.
President Trump in recent days has committed to working on gun reform, expressing support for raising the minimum age for gun purchases and vowing to push “comprehensive background checks.”
The president has also suggested giving some trained teachers the ability to carry concealed weapons as a way of preventing future shootings.