An armed law enforcement officer that was assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the shooting has resigned. An internal review revealed that the officer, even though he “was absolutely on campus through this entire event,” did not enter the school during the deadly shooting that occurred last week.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel made the announcement regarding the officer’s resignation. Israel had suspended the officer, identified as Scot Peterson, without pay while the investigation was underway, though Peterson ultimately chose to resign.
“Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire event,” said Israel during a news conference. “He was armed. He was in uniform.”
“After seeing video, witness statements and Scot Peterson’s very own statement, I decided this morning to suspend [him] without pay pending an internal investigation,” Israel stated.
According to The Hill, Israel confirmed that Peterson had chosen to resign, as he had the necessary requirements to retire. However, Israel did note that the investigation into the incident would continue.
“We’re not going to disclose the video at this time, and we may never disclose the video, depending on the prosecution and the criminal case,” said Israel. “But what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position – and he never went in.”
A reporter at the press conference asked Israel what Peterson should have done, to which he replied, “Went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”
Israel stated that the video he saw left him “devastated” and made him “sick to [his] stomach.”
“There are no words,” he added.
Last week, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire on students and faculty members. In total, 17 people were killed by the alleged shooter, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the school.
After the mass shooting, the debate over gun control was reignited as survivors and others called on Congress and other lawmakers to take action.
Recently, President Donald Trump has expressed support for certain possible measures, including a ban on bump stocks, improvements to the federal background check system, and raising the minimum age to purchase specific firearms.
Trump has also discussed allowing trained teachers to carry concealed firearms on school grounds as a means of deterring potential shooters.
JUST IN: Broward Sheriff says armed school resource deputy who was on duty at Stoneman Douglas the day of the shooting has been suspended without pay pending investigation; Sheriff Israel says the deputy opted to resign/retire. https://t.co/WyLmaDb2n0 pic.twitter.com/ApSeQbZV70
— ABC News (@ABC) February 22, 2018