Deputy who stayed outside during Parkland shooting refuses to testify
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The former school resource officer who stayed outside during the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February declined to testify about the event this week.

Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson on Thursday refused to appear before a state commission investigating the shooting, The Associated Press reported.

His attorney Joseph DiRuzzo appeared in his place, telling the panel that Peterson was seeking to quash the subpoena to testify with a lawsuit filed earlier in the day, according to local outlet The Sun Sentinel.

The commission is investigating in part whether Peterson could have prevented shooting deaths if he had entered the building where the shooting took place.


Peterson, who resigned after the shooting, was the target of public outrage after surveillance video showed that he did not enter the school building during the shooting, which left 17 students and faculty dead and more than a dozen others injured.

The state commission on Thursday went on to listen to a presentation about Peterson's conduct on Feb. 14, the day of the shooting.

"He was a cop in name only," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, according to the AP. "If he had been a real cop, he would have run in there with that gun."

Peterson was the lone armed officer on campus when the shooting started.

He ran for cover to a stairwell and did not confront the shooter directly, the Sun Sentinel reported. He radioed in other authorities, naming the building where the massacre was taking place.

In the retired deputy's lawsuit, he claims the commission abused its civil power when it issued subpoenas. 

“Instead of being a neutral fact-finding body, the Commission has succumbed to the not-so-thinly veiled personal agendas of the Commission members,” a news release accompanying the lawsuit states, the newspaper reported.

"He didn't do his job," one shooting victim's father told Peterson's attorney, according to the AP. "My daughter should be alive." 

Many Parkland survivors and their families became vocal anti-violence advocates in the shooting's aftermath, with a group of survivors launching multimillion-dollar gun control advocacy group March for Our Lives.

The group’s most visible leaders have become public figures with millions of total followers on Twitter, weighing in regularly about the epidemic of gun violence and politics.