The finger-pointing in the wake of a high school shooting that left 17 dead began with a close examination of missed opportunities leading up to the incident. Then a Sheriff’s Deputy who worked at the school took center stage, as the world learned he stayed outside and didn’t confront the shooter. Now we have video of him during the shooting.
Deputy Scot Peterson was assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as their school resource officer. The Broward County Deputy resigned immediately after the shooting, a move many claimed was to ensure that he kept his pension. After news broke that he’d not engaged the shooter, he was sure to have been fired.
Now video has been released that shows Peterson standing outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while Nikolas Cruz was inside, killing students, faculty, and staff.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office released the video. They claim that the footage “speaks for itself.”
Peterson did respond to the building where Cruz was firing. He was on scene in under two minutes. He didn’t go in, though, and stayed outside while the shooting continued.
The video was released Wednesday, after multiple outlets, including USA TODAY, petitioned a judge for its release.
“Peterson’s lawyer, Joseph A. DiRuzzo III,” USA Today notes, “said his client has been unfairly described as a ‘coward’ for following protocol. DiRuzzo said Peterson believed the shooting was taking place outside the school and followed protocol for such an incident. That included taking up a ‘tactical position’ outside the building and initiating a Code Red lockdown.”
Peterson, the lawyer claims, is the one who had the “presence of mind” to get the administrators to go to monitors that showed closed circuit footage to determine exactly where the shooter was. He then supposedly passed that information on to law enforcement. Yet he didn’t act on it, and Cruz was moving, constantly, and managed to escape the building unnoticed.
Other deputies from the agency also staged outside. It wasn’t until police officers arrived on scene that any authorities actually entered the building in attempt to stop the bloodshed.
This new video will certainly call into question Peterson’s behavior.
Here’s the whole video: