Sheriff: Armed Deputy at Florida School Waited Outside During School Massacre
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced at a news conference Thursday that Scot Peterson, a school resource deputy who was on duty at the Parkland, Fla., school where 17 people were massacred last week, did not enter the building during the shooting and instead waited outside.
Israel said that Peterson, who was armed and in uniform, waited for about four minutes while the shooting was going on inside the school, taking up a position outside the school. He never entered the building.
Israel said the deputy was inside the building handling a matter with a female student when the shooting began. It's not clear when the officer exited the building and took up his position outside.
"What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position, and he never went in," a visibly angry Israel told reporters.
"I decided this morning to suspend Scot Peterson without pay, pending an investigation," Israel said. Peterson resigned/retired after his suspension was announced.
According to Israel, two other deputies, Edward Eason and Guntis Treijs, are also under investigation and have been put on “restrictive duty.”
Israel, when asked by reporters what Peterson should have done, said the deputy should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer."
"I am devastated,” Israel said. “Sick to my stomach. He never went in.”
The sheriff said that surveillance video shed light on the events related to Peterson, but said the video is not being released at this time "and we may never disclose the video depending on the prosecution and the criminal case."
Former student Nicolas Cruz has admitted to the February 14 shootings and is being held without bail. He has reportedly agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the removal of the death penalty in his case.