Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg on deputy who did not enter school during shooting: "Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a glock? And I know that's what these police officers are supposed to do, but they're people too." pic.twitter.com/GjnUBuidc6— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 24, 2018
A student at the Parkland, Fla., high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last week defended the local officer who did not enter shooting scene.
"He — just like every other police officer out there at heart — is a good person. He didn't take action in this event, and I can't explain why ... there are no words to explain why he wouldn't take action to take out this individual, but I think it's a good example of if he didn't take action and four others didn't, I mean, who does?" student David Hogg said in an interview on MSNBC.
Hogg was referencing Scot Peterson, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer and Broward County Sheriff's deputy who has been the subject of criticism for failing to enter the building and defend students during the shooting.
"Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a glock? And I know that's what these police officers are supposed to do, but they're people too," he added.
Three other officers from the same department reportedly arrived on scene and took cover behind their vehicles before deputies from a neighboring department arrived.
Peterson has been the subject of intense criticism in the days following last Wednesday's shooting, after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a press conference this week that Peterson was outside the building but on campus for the duration of the attack, but "didn't go in."
“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. “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.”
Peterson's alleged conduct was noted by Trump on Friday, who told reporters that the officer didn't have the "courage" to confront the shooter.
"When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn't have the courage or something happened, but he certainly did a poor job. There's no question about that," Trump said of Peterson.
"He didn't turn out to be too good, I'll tell you that. Turned out to be not good, not a credit to law enforcement, that I can tell you," he added.