Scot Peterson, a school security officer who sat in his car while 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were massacred last year, has been charged with child neglect, negligence and perjury and arrested for allegedly abrogating his responsibilities as an officer.
“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen in a press release. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
“I was pleased the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation that yielded the arrest of Scot Peterson. All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges. It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who replaced the reviled Scott Israel after he was removed from his post.
Peterson, 56, has become a national figure of scorn and the poster child for law enforcement failure after he refused to confront shooter Nikolas Cruz during his rampage in Parkland, FL on Feb. 14, 2018.
The criminal charges all stem from the murders and injuries that happened on the third floor of the high school, with the exception of an additional perjury charge levied on Peterson. It is conceivable that Peterson could have prevented some of the killings on that floor if he had done his job that day.
The parents of the slain students have no sympathy for Peterson after his behavior during that tragedy.
Former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson has been arrested on felony charges.
He cowered in Parkland while my sister died defenseless and lied about his failure to confront the shooter.
I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison.
— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) June 4, 2019
“He should rot, that’s how I feel,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the massacre. “My daughter was one of the last to be shot. My daughter absolutely could have been saved by him and she wasn’t … I’m pleased an effort is being made for justice here.”
“Had she had one more second she would have been saved,” Guttenberg added. “She was turning into the stairwell. I hope they make his life as miserable as possible.”
“If Scot Peterson had done his job my son would be alive today,” said Linda Schulman. “One hundred-percent had he done something the active shooter would not have made it to the third floor, had he done his job, instead of standing outside like a coward. Had he done his job we wouldn‘t be having this conversation.”
“He needs to go to jail and he needs to serve a lifetime in prison for not going in that day and taking down the threat that led to the death of our loved ones,” said Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter was murdered that day. “It was his duty to go into that building and to engage the threat and he froze and he did nothing.”
Peterson and Sgt. Brian Miller have been formally terminated from their posts on the police force following an extensive investigation. If Peterson is convicted of the many charges, he could receive nearly 97 years in prison.
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