The former school resource officer who stayed outside during the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last year has been arrested and charged for failing to act during the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Scot Peterson, 56, is facing seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The charges come about 15 months after a gunman opened fire at the high school, killing 17 and wounding several others.
“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statment. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony added that Peterson’s actions warranted “termination of employment and criminal charges.”
Broward County Sgt. Brian Miller was also fired following the investigation, according to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
FDLE said that an investigation found that Peterson refused to investigate the sources of gunshots during the shooting and that he retreated while victims were being shot. The probe also discovered that he directed law enforcement who arrived on the scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.
Peterson was booked into the Broward County Main Jail following his arrest. He could face up to 97 years in state prison if convicted of the charges, the Sun-Sentinel noted. His bond was reportedly set at $102,000.
Peterson, who resigned following the shooting, became the subject of outrage after surveillance video showed that he did not enter the school building during the shooting.
“It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Tony said, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
--Updated at 4:09 p.m.