Ex-School Resource Officer Defends His Actions During School Massacre

The school resource officer accused of being a "coward" during the Florida school shooting defended himself on Monday.

Parkland, FL – The Broward County sheriff’s deputy, who was blamed for failing to act while Nikolas Cruz slaughtered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman High School on Valentine’s Day, said that he is not a coward, and that he did nothing wrong.

Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 54, who was the school resource officer at the high school, resigned from his position on Thursday.

“Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” Peterson’s attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo said in a statement on Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

"Let there be no mistake, Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the seventeen victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need," DiRuzzo said.

He explained that Peterson initially believed that the gunfire was coming from outside of the school, so he “took up a tactical position” between two buildings, NBC News reported.

DiRuzzo argued that his client was the first person to report the active shooter, and that he gave SWAT members keys to the building, accessed security videos, and drew them diagrams of the campus.

“BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement,” DiRuzzo explained.

DiRuzzo said that, in the face of public backlash, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel rushed to blame Peterson without having considered all of the factors that unfolded at the scene.

“Radio transmissions indicated that there were a gunshot victim in the area of the football field, which served to confirm Mr. Peterson’s belief that the shooter, or shooters, were outside,” DiRizzo said, according to the Miami Herald. "Sheriff Israel's statement is, at best, a gross oversimplification of the events that transpired."

On Thursday, Sheriff Israel announced that the school resource officer had taken cover outside the freshman building while a former student murdered 17 students and faculty, and wounded 14 others, in the hallways and classrooms inside.

Sheriff Israel said Deputy Scot Peterson, a 23-year veteran of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The sheriff was already facing strong criticism about his department’s handling of complaints about 19-year-old school shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Sheriff Israel has acknowledged his office received 23 calls about Cruz over the past 10 years – including one last year about his gun and knife collection – but they didn’t follow up and investigate the future mass murderer, The New York Times reported.

He announced that he’d placed two additional deputies on restricted duty on Thursday. They were investigating the deputies’ alleged failure to properly handle tips about the would-be school shooter over the past two years, the sheriff said.

“I am devastated. Sick to my stomach. He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said according to the Miami Herald.

On Friday, CNN reported that when Coral Springs police officers arrived on the scene of the active shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, three additional Broward County deputies were outside the school, with their pistols drawn, taking cover behind their police vehicles.

Coral Springs police, joined by a Sunrise police officer and some new Broward County deputies who arrived on the scene after them, were the first law enforcement officers to attempt entry into the building – but even then, the Broward deputies already on the scene stayed behind, CNN reported.

On Monday, President Donald Trump lambasted the “disgusting” law enforcement officers who refused to enter the school during the massacre, and said that he would have acted differently – even if he was unarmed, FOX News reported.

“You don't know until you test it,” Trump said. “But I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn't have a weapon. I think most of the people in this room would have done that too, because I know most of you.”

“The way they performed was really a disgrace,” he continued. “They weren’t exactly Medal of Honor winners."

Comments (44)
No. 1-44
bronx163
bronx163

He's A 23 yr veteran deputy walking PUSSIE.
HE’s A DISGRACE.
HE LET CHILDREN DIE.

BobIn704
BobIn704

HE did what he was trained for........dont blame him for some sick fuck that had mental issues! The Sherrif is the one that needs to go. Hes worthless and always has been with no value add toanythinghe has done!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Agreed about doing as he was trained.

Sidenote: @bronx163
Your boy Trumpito said he would run in there without a gun. If only he didn't have those pesky bone spurs, imagine how much good he could have done if he was drafted.

Ben15825
Ben15825

He did what he was trained for???? Umm the shooter pulled the fire alarm FIRST , and the deputy RAN outside , so if there was a fire inside would the protocol still be flee like a pussy??

annasasha
annasasha

We now know that there were so many things that were ignored from the get go , this person could have been stopped could have been helped long before it ever got to this point, this is not an NRA issue its a breakdown in so many areas, this officer and a few others and the sheriff him self all need to go. FBI needs to be looked at , this didn't have to happen

bronx163
bronx163

Any parent who has balls would do the same.
Not wear a gunbelt like broward county cowards and hide behind cars as
real cops storm the school.
Bash Trump all u want America loves him.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
Not even his whole party likes hi, let alone America.

wrodrigu7932
wrodrigu7932

When students are running AWAY from the building, that is a F?ing indication the shooter is in the School, not a Football field as his lawyer is now claiming. He was probably a month from retirement. No wonder why he did not go in.

jfrizby1
jfrizby1

This story is BS!!! A 23 yr veteran of any force would know the difference in sound of a weapon being fired inside or outside!! His argument is invalid unless that is he was def and shouldn’t be a resource officer in the first place!!
He was labeled correctly... COWARD!!!

alfa1020
alfa1020

Along with the big hero Trump. Yeah right, like he would run into a building where a guy has a rapid fire weapon and shooting people. Military and para-military personnel are trained in specific tactics to handle this sort of thing and only a quick mention of the body on playing field!

Harleykins71
Harleykins71

With a 35% approval rating and 200 political scientists saying Trump is the worst President ever in America ,says a bit different than he is loved by America.

wrodrigu7932
wrodrigu7932

What kind of Sheriffs Dept are they running down there? He needs to go - Dereliction of Duty. Not to mention the times the Sheriff dept. had visited this young man and did nothing. Totally Unacceptable.

bronx163
bronx163

If the School, social workers, sheriffs’s office and FBI had all cooperated and dne commonsense action these children would be alive today. And if the school had locked the dam doors who knows. Kid in philly the other day was seen on camerA tring to enter school what looked like a real gun and was detered by locked doors.
Simple things go a long way.

flagwaver
flagwaver

He should be held complicit in the deaths of those kids. He and the others were yellow cowards for hiding behind those cars. Blaming the NRA & Trump for this horror is so misplaced. IT'S TOTALLY ON THAT MONSTER WHO HELD THE GUN and premeditatedly killed those kids. He could have done it with a hand gun.

bronx163
bronx163

Thats why your bitch lost. Calf NY NJ Shicago all think that rest of country thinks like you.
America spoke and he won. Obama did nothing for the country but flood us with refugee terrorists, illegal aliens and massive 10 billion additional debt.
Failed shovel ready jobs.
More people in poverty than any other president.
No economic growth
Cash for clunkers mand bailed out banks that stole money. And put minority against whites.
Because he was ignorant race bater president and
Hated the police.

Foundoutwest11
Foundoutwest11

THE only thing I can say without JUDGEMENT, I was not there! all of you was not there so you have no idea whats running in the mind, yes we all say we would run into the fight. BUT would you? Kids and adults lost life's and all you can do is beat the words.

Trump
Trump

He only followed protocol, isn't that what the FOP & police unions are always saying?

Trump
Trump

Fact is he got comfortable after 23 years & did not wanna rock the boat. It just wasn't his day.

Skoolboy42
Skoolboy42

It’s a bit sad that so many are quick to cast judgement without even knowing all the facts. Also talking brave and acting brave are two completely different things. Most of the commenters have chosen jobs that do not put them into the threat of situations like this and yet they throw stones at those who have, regardless of how they acted. I think it’s fair to say that no one (even trained police officers) fully knows how they will act until thrust into the situation.

Foundoutwest11
Foundoutwest11

Skoolboy42 - Well said, Lots of arm chair talk, fact is not one can say they have been in the thick of disaster.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
Haha wait, who do you think I voted for?

bronx163
bronx163

No idea

bronx163
bronx163

Foundoutwest11
Thats bs.
Walked worked in shitty south bronx and went on tons of gun run jobs
Anthrax jobs in manhattan when mobilized and walked through shadow of death of 9/11 ground zero.
These deputies were pussies. Scared one thing do nothing you are fucking loser.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
Well you do have an idea. You said to me, "your bitch lost." so I'm assuming you think I voted for Hillary Clinton. Correct?

bronx163
bronx163

Cant see u voting for trump

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
I voted for Sanders in the dem primary, and I didn't vote for anyone in the final election, like many other black people, because the choices were a highly competent liar and a barely literate fuckboy.

When fuckboy got elected, it finally seemed like white liberals understood what it was like for us almost every other election cycle. I'll admit, the schadenfraude was pretty sweet.

RunCop
RunCop

Lowest common demoninator....come on, admit you voted for your girl Hillary.

Foundoutwest11
Foundoutwest11

Cool I have been called a lot worse, I wear the name well, Thank you

bronx163
bronx163

Socialist who didnt have the nomination. Voted for nothing.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
I didn't vote for nothing. I voted for the person I believed was best for the country. He didn't win the dem primary, so shrug I no longer had a dog in the fight.

Black folk weren't that upset that Trump won. What really was gonna change for us? The people that really got affected were white liberals.

This SNL skit wraps it up pretty well. Black guy is surprised that white folk are surprised that trump got elected.

bronx163
bronx163

Trump is best for the country. Appologetic obama did nothing for America. What was his greatest accomplishment? Obama care people cant afford. And intell to get bin laden was due to bush’s guatanmo interigation program.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@bronx163
Alright.

TheDude
TheDude

The expectation that a president would "do something for black folks" is so incredibly naive. Obama really did a number on folks thinking they need Big Daddy Government to take care of them.

Bill d
Bill d

Its obviously your right to loathe Trump. I like him but also accept fair criticism of his idiosyncrasies. The issue i have trouble accepting is insults that call him a failure or barely literate or stupid, etc. The man will leave his children a multi national multi billon dollar business he built. If this is the sign of a failure, what does that say about 99.9% of the rest of us?
As for fuckboy, ok. Yeah, he is a billionaire playboy. So what? He never hid it and was voted potus in spite of it.

WoodMagnolia
WoodMagnolia

I lay all the blame and responsibility on Sheriff Israel. This guy was practically pissing himself to throw anyone and everyone under the bus. None of us was at the school on this horrid day, so really we don’t know for a fact who heard what, seen what and did what. Israel says he has been an “Amazing leader”. While saying he didn’t know anything about anything. Paleeze! Am I saying the SRO didn’t screw up? No, I’m not. But if the BSO had done their damn job any of the 29-35 times they responded to calls to about the kid, none of this may have happened.

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Yeah about right...

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Everyone hit up this email to request them to add an ignore or block button... community@bluelivesmatter.blue - then problem easily solved.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@TheDude racist? what did I say that was racist? You know what people are called when they just throw that word around, right?

Please, show me where I said one race was inherently better than another?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Bill d when did I call him a failure? and fuckboy isn't a compliment. it doesn't mean playboy. it means a guy that's constantly doing fuck shit.

If that's still confusing for you, there's no set definition. but you know a fuckboy when you see one.

fightinsanity
fightinsanity

We weren't there so we don't know what we would do but I believe that the Sheriff's Dept. should have entered the building right away. A lot of kids died because of many errors in judgement and a young man with known mental problems. It seems that psychiatric problems are a common denominator with these school shootings.