Florida deputy thought shooting was outside school: lawyer

Florida deputy thought shooting was outside school: lawyer
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The former Broward County sheriff’s deputy who has been heavily criticized for not entering the Florida school where a mass shooting took place earlier this month believed the shooter was outside the school at the time of the incident, his lawyer said.

Scot Peterson, the former resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was seen on camera failing to enter the school to confront the active shooter.

His lawyer, Joseph A. DiRuzzo III, said in a statement that when Peterson got to the school building where the shooting took place, he “heard gunshots but believed that those gunshots were originating from outside of any of the buildings on the school campus,” the Washington Post reported.

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Peterson acted in accordance with his training by seeking shelter and trying to assess the situation, DiRuzzo argued, according to the Post.

He noted that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel maligned Peterson in public statements when he said Peterson should have entered the school to kill the shooter, the Post reported. The lawyer also argued that Israel implied Peterson was “responsible for failing to help the students.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE has also criticized Peterson for failing to confront the shooter, calling his lack of action “disgusting.”

The president went on to say that if he had been at the scene of the shooting, he would have gone into the school.

“You don't know until you test it, but I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon,” Trump told a gathering of governors at the White House on Monday. "And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too."

Israel suspended Peterson last week after reviewing the surveillance tapes of Peterson outside the school. Peterson filed for retirement shortly after.

Seventeen people were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14. The mass shooting led to increased scrutiny over local law enforcement's response, as well as authorities' failure to act on several "red flags" concerning the suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, in the lead-up to the incident.