Parkland: What Happened To Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson?

Callum Paton
Displayed with permission from Newsweek

Scot Peterson is reported to have taken cover during the attack. Photo from The Sun

Scot Peterson, the Florida police officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last week, has resigned amid an investigation into his actions during the massacre.

Peterson, 54, resigned Thursday from Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Sun Sentinel reported, as it emerged that although he was the only armed deputy on campus during the shooting, he had done nothing.

Related: John Oliver Says ‘F**k Your Thoughts And Prayers’ After Florida Shooting

Sheriff Scott Israel said Peterson’s decision to take cover during the shooting had left him feeling sick to his stomach. The deputy reportedly waited outside for “upwards of four minutes” while students and their teachers died inside.

“He never went in,” Israel said in a news conference. He said Peterson should have: “Went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Video footage from the scene has shown, however, that the deputy did none of those things, Israel said. “There are no words,” he added.

Florida law enforcement has come under increased scrutiny after former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and three educators on February 14.

Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty Thursday because they may have mishandled earlier tips to the Sheriff’s Office regarding Cruz, the New York Times reported.

Read: The Narcissism of Small Differences

Peterson’s resignation and subsequent retirement end his 30-year career in law enforcement. Originally from Illinois, he had served as school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas since 2009. A 2017 performance review shows he was a trusted officer who “takes pride in protecting the students, faculty, and staff at his school.”

Broward Schools Superintendent has lambasted Peterson over his reaction to the shooting. “I’m in shock and I’m outraged to no end that he could have made a difference in all this,” Runcie said Thursday. “It’s really disturbing that we had a law enforcement individual there specifically for this reason, and he did not engage,” he said.

However, a ninth-grade English teacher Felicia Burgin has said she believes the criticism is unfair. “There is no one that is going to tell you a negative thing about Deputy Peterson,” she said, explaining the officer wouldn’t have stood a chance against Cruz, who was armed with an AR-15 rifle.

“I don’t know what he could have done other than literally died,” Burgin added.

According to the New York Post Peterson reportedly believed he did his duty.  “He believed he did a good job calling in the location, setting up the perimeter and calling in the description,” local police union official, Jim Bell said.

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Posted by on February 23, 2018. Filed under Crime,News,NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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11 Responses to Parkland: What Happened To Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson?

  1. jess Reply

    February 23, 2018 at 11:35 am

    What could one guy have done with all the goings on is what I want to know. How would he know who was the gunman and who was not. But hey, they got their scapegoat so there is that.

    • Bobbie Peel Reply

      February 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      He was waiting for help from the math teacher who had just completed firearms training.

      • jess Reply

        February 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

        See now I did not think of that Bobbie.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      February 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      That’s exactly who the poor bastard is. A scapegoat.

  2. Bill Formby Reply

    February 23, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I can only speak for myself, and admittedly, I am not the brightest bulb on the tree, and I was not there, but I believe it would have been my duty to go in and try to get to him. If I could have at least gotten off a few rounds at the shooter I may have shortened his time shooting at students. Granted he had a slight edge with the rifle but we are talking about fairly close range combat. If the officer had enter and quickly found a place where he could have fired from a covered position he might have been effective.

  3. Tall Stacey Reply

    February 23, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    As Ramoan pointed out in Clint Eastwood’s “Fistful of Dollars” “When a man with a 45 ((pistol)meets a man with a rifle, the man with the 45 dies.”

    Considering the destructive nature of the .223 cal. round that the AR 15 fires (One expert recently suggested that the high velocity round was like shooting a coke can into a human being), the 30 round magazines and the semi-auto fire rate, a single person confronting a shooter with a handgun would probably have been the 18th victim.

    I agree, the poor guy is a scapegoat. Regardless of emotion, or duty, Waiting for backup seems prudent.

  4. Ole Phat Stu Reply

    February 24, 2018 at 12:32 am

    The guy had a sinecure and maybe knew that the chance of being killed or injured according to cops’ own statistic is almost 50% in such massacres.

  5. Bobo Reply

    June 5, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    We’re now charging people with crimes that carry lifetime sentences when we feel their job performance wasn’t up to par? They did that in the Soviet Union. Now it’s starting here. I hope this trend doesn’t spread. Maybe we can start second guessing doctors and, if we deem their decisions wrong, put them in jail for manslaughter when patients die.

    The only ways a lone officer can beat someone with an Ar-15 is to sneak up behind him or be in a position to take a shot when the gunman runs out of bullets. In a head-on confrontation, dead officer. Could Petersen realistically have gotten himself into a strategically viable position when the fire alarm was blaring, students were fleeing, he had no idea where Cruz was and Cruz was mobile? Not likely. Police officers don’t know what’s really happening when they get on scene, and this was a huge campus. Someone had to tell responding officers where to go and try to inform them of what’s happening, even though no one is certain until after the fact.

    He clearly thought he was doing the right thing. His methods may be controversial, but they are no crime.

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