Armed Deputy Who ‘Never Went In’ at Florida School Shooting Has Resigned

February 22, 2018 Updated: February 22, 2018

The armed deputy who was on duty at the Florida high school during the deadly shooting where 17 people were killed last week has resigned after being suspended without pay, the county sheriff announced.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 22, that Deputy Scott Peterson — who on duty as the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — had taken position outside the building where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was in and stayed outside the building for four minutes without ever going in.

Israel said he decided to suspend and place Peterson under an internal investigation after viewing a video that showed the deputy’s actions during the rampage on Feb. 14, as well as witness statements and the deputy’s own statement. Peterson subsequently chose to resign from the department.

“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position and he never went in,” said Israel. The building is popularly known as “the freshman building.”

The county sheriff told reporters Peterson should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer” but instead he remained outside the building.

Israel did not confirm whether Peterson would face criminal charges. He added that the video that shows Peterson’s actions at this time would not be released and may never be released “depending on the prosecution and criminal case.”

He also said he was “devastated” and felt “sick in [the] stomach” about the deputy’s actions.

“There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the vigils. There are no words,” Israel said during the press conference.

Epoch Times Photo
Left: Nikolas Cruz. Right: Students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after Nikolas Cruz opened fire on the campus on Feb. 14, 2018. (Broward County Jail via AP, Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

Police said Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at students and teachers at the Florida high school on Feb. 14 killing 17 people. He was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Additional reporting by Reuters

 

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