Parkland, FL – The father of a student murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has filed a lawsuit against the school resource officer who stayed outside during the shooting.
“I’m not interested in any money,” Pollack told The Sun-Sentinel. “I just want to expose what a coward [Peterson] was and that he could’ve saved everybody on the third floor. I don’t want him to go anywhere in the country and not have people recognize what a coward he is.”
The Sun-Sentinel reported that Pollack filed the suit, which also named the estate of Lynda Cruz, James Snead, Kimberly Snead, Henderson Behavioral Health, Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health INC, and South County Mental Health Center, INC. as defendants, in Broward County Court.
In the aftermath of the shooting on Feb. 14, investigators discovered video that showed Deputy Peterson, a 33-year veteran of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, stayed outside the 1200 building while a 19-year-old former student went on a shooting spree inside.
Police radio transmission recordings that were released revealed that not only had the school resource officer taken cover outside, he’s also advised arriving officers not to enter the building where an active shooter was on a rampage.
"I filed a wrongful death suit against Deputy Peterson today," Pollack posted on Twitter. "I want to expose that coward so bad. Where ever he goes I want people to recognize him and say that's one of the cowards of Broward. The SRO that let those children and teachers die on the 3rd floor!"
Pollack’s attorney, David W. Brill, filed a lawsuit that detailed former-Deputy Peterson’s failure to act from the moment the school shooter stepped into the building. The suit claimed the 54-year-old school resource officer who stayed outside was the only person armed and trained to deal with an active shooter, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
“Instead of actually entering the building as he should have, Peterson positioned himself out of harm’s way, though within earshot of the Nikolas Cruz carnage,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged that the school resource officer never attempted to go inside Building 1200, “never once attempting to save a life, never once attempting to fire a single bullet at Cruz,” The Sun-Sentinel reported.
“Rather, Peterson listened to the din of screams of teachers and students, many of whom were dead or dying, and the blasts of Nikolas Cruz’ repeated gunfire,” the lawsuit detailed the shooting taking place inside the freshman building while the deputy tasked with protecting the students hid outside.
Peterson’s attorney defended his client’s actions following the shooting.
“Let there be no mistake, Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the 17 victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need,” Joseph DiRuzzio said at that time. “However, the 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 resigned after Broward Sheriff Scott Israel suspended him shortly after the shooting.
Meadow Pollack’s father was not the first person to file a lawsuit related to the rampage.
On April 17, Anthony Borges, a student who was shot five times by his former classmate, sued Cruz, the estate of his late mother, the family that took Cruz in after his mother's death, and three mental health facilities that treated Cruz, FOX News reported.