The now former Broward County deputy who was accused of cowering and hiding during the 2018 Parkland High School shooting that ended 17 lives is now speaking out to defend himself and his actions, claiming that there “is no way in hell that I would sit there and allow those kids to die with me being next to another building.”
Scot Peterson, who served as a school resource officer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, defended himself ahead of a trial where he is facing child negligence charges.
“On February 14, 2018… we responded to a firecracker call. It was not a call of an act of gunfire. I arrived on that scene and when I got there, I heard two to three shots outside. I immediately got on my radio and I reported ‘shots fired,'” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I then went on my school radio to lock down the school, to safeguard the 3,200 kids on that campus. That is the first thing I did.”
Peterson said he thought the gunfire was coming from “outside,” so he “looked for the closest position of tactical cover and it was the 700 building” which is right next to the 1200 building where the shooting was unfolding.
“And that is where I moved to and at that moment, I became the incident commander on the scene, still not knowing at all – never knowing that there was a shooter or shooters inside that building shooting students and staff,” he said. “I never once when I was at that 700 building, knew that. I didn’t receive any intel from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Coral Springs officers that arrived on the scene who were standing next to me.”
“I never had any information that there were gunshot victims inside the 1200 building when I was over at the 700 building as the incident commander trying to assess not only the scene but as the units were responding,” he added.
The former officer said after a minute and a half he heard a deputy on the scene reporting over the radio that there were shots at a football field which was about a few hundred yards away from where he was cowering, er, I mean taking up a tactical position.
“So now in my mind I’m thinking, this is probably not even in this area. Someone is sniper firing somewhere in this school towards even the football field,” Peterson said.
“We were doing the best … every deputy on that scene was doing the best that we could in that chaotic moment at the beginning, with those shots being fired,” he continued. “There is no way in hell that I would sit there and allow those kids to die with me being next to another building and sitting there. No way. And anybody who knows me will tell you ‘that is not Deputy Peterson’. Never.”
Prosecutors argue that Peterson failed to do his job and go help end the situation as Nikolas Cruz, then 19, was making his way through the hallways of the school during the February 14, 2018 shooting spree.
Cruz is facing 17 counts of first-degree murder and he’s looking at the death penalty if he is convicted of the killings he did during that dark Valentine’s Day massacre.
Cruz was known to be a menace in the community and police knew he had multiple guns that he would at times brandish and even fire off into the air. Police were called to his home at least a dozen times and they never confiscated his weapons or arrested him. You can thank Barack Obama and Eric Holder for that, because they came up with the program to stop what they called the School to Prison Pipeline.
The Obama administration wanted to help teens stay out of trouble with the law. They were either too stupid or too lazy to figure out how to do that. So, they came up with a plan which was they would grant extra funding to counties where the teen crime rates went down. Broward County saw that Dade County had gotten awarded grant money because they lowered their teen crime rate. Broward County officials ask them how they did it and so they went and did the same thing. What they did was they had their schools cut a deal with local law enforcement so that police would not arrest teens for certain crimes being committed. That way, the county would get grants of money from the Obama administration. The Democrats lowered the crime rate by not reporting crimes.
On any one of the times police were called to Cruz’s home for misuse of his firearms, the police could have arrested him and confiscated his many guns and Cruz may have ended up in a juvenile detention center. Those 17 people would still be alive if they did. I am convinced of that.
Cruz’s lawyers made an offer that their client would plead guilty for a life sentence in lieu of the death penalty, but the prosecutors said they’ll take their chances with a jury trial.