A school resource officer was armed during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and didn't take action. Officials believe that Scot Peterson was armed during the Valentine's Day massacre and failed to disarm the shooter's weapon, according to The New York Daily News. That shooting took the lives of 17 people.
This information came to light when video surfaced of the incident. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel relayed that Peterson is seen standing outside the building for about four minutes. Inside, alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz was firing students and faculty with an assault rifle for approximately six minutes.
"Never went in," Israel explained in a press conference on Thursday. “What I saw was a deputy arrive at the West side of building 12, take up a position and he never went in.”
Israel, who has been outspoken following the shooting, believes that Peterson should have went inside the building and faced the attacker. “Went in,” Israel said. “Address the killer. Kill the killer.” Peterson has been a safety officer in the school since 2009. He has been previously awarded for his work. In 2014, he was awarded as the School Resource Officer of the Year for the City of Parkland District by the Broward County Crime Commission. His work was praised internally for "tak(ing) pride in protecting the students, faculty and staff at his school," per documents seen by NBC.
An image of Peterson is seen below from 2015.
This news comes on the heels of discussion of arming teachers inside schools to prevent future school shootings. On Thursday, Donald Trump took to Twitter to propose the idea of enabling some teachers to carry concealed weapons. "Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!" he proclaimed.
Israel shared his disappointment with learning about Peterson's inaction. "Devastated, sick to my stomach, there are no words," he said. "These families lost their children, we lost coaches. I've been to the funerals. I've been to the homes where they're sitting Shiva. I've been to the vigils. It's just, there are no words."
Peterson is a law enforcement officer for more than 32 years. He was initially suspended without pay while an investigation was underway. According to Israel, the officer then decided to resign and retire on his own.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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