Scot Peterson, a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had been suspended due to his alleged inaction during last week’s school shooting, chose to resign since he met “the requirements of retirement,” according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Peterson, who was on duty during the Parkland school shooting, took up a position at the west side of Building 12 where the shooting took place but never went in to engage the shooter, Nikolas Cruz.
According to the New York Daily News, it was the role of Deputy Peterson to protect those in danger, but security video footage shows that Scot did not potentially do all that he could have done as an armed deputy in the school at the time that the mass shooting occurred. Israel noted that Peterson did not fire his gun but instead went outside of the school in Florida and remained there for four out of six minutes that Cruz shot and killed people inside.
Israel said that while the video footage of Scot doing nothing made him “sick” to his stomach, authorities do not plan to release the video footage showing Peterson standing outside of the school anytime soon, if at all. Scot, who had worked since 2009 as a school safety officer, was inside the school attending to a different student as Cruz began shooting. However, instead of engaging Cruz, Scot took a position outside of the school on the west side and did not go back inside.
Peterson should have engaged Cruz and shot and killed him, Israel said in the press conference video above as he described Scot’s actions. Israel noted the pain suffered by those who lost their children in the massacre.
After the press conference, the name Scot Peterson began trending on Twitter with thousands of tweets.
Peterson gave up his weapons and ID card on Thursday, February 22. Scot wasn’t the only school resource officer that was initially placed on leave before he resigned. Two additional officers whose names have not been publicized were also placed on administrative duties. Reactions on social media ranged from people criticizing Scot to those writing that Peterson likely would not have wanted to engage a person with an AR-15.