A newly released surveillance video shows former Deputy Scot Peterson remaining outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as Nikolas Cruz carried out his horrific murder on Valentine’s Day.
The footage released on Thursday documented Peterson’s response about a minute after the shooting began. CNN noted that the disgraced deputy was the only armed security officer at the school during that time, making his actions more questionable.
In the 27-minute clip, Peterson, who was wearing his dark green uniform, can be seen with his handgun drawn as he stayed outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
He then quickly turns and jumps into a golf cart, along with a staff member, to investigate the gunshots at the 1200 building. He also radioed the sheriff’s office, issuing a warning about the incident.
However, he did not enter the building and takes up a position outside instead.
“Be advised we have possible — could be firecrackers — I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired,” Peterson said.
A few seconds later, Peterson can be seen running across from the building before stopping to radio dispatch again, asking to shut down the school
“Make sure we get some units over here, I need to shut down Stoneman Douglas,” Peterson said.
Security camera footage from outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shows armed officer stays outside of the building during school shooting https://t.co/j3t0hQ2Az5 pic.twitter.com/woXw6E9c59
— CNN (@CNN) March 16, 2018
In a press release, the Broward Sheriff’s Office pointed out that Peterson’s response to the shooting as seen in the video definitely “speaks for itself,” adding that his actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Scott Israel criticized Peterson days after the shooting, claiming that the former deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.” He also admitted that Peterson’s lack of action left him “devastated” and sick to his stomach, Miami Herald reported.
Following his response to the attack, Peterson was branded a coward by President Donald Trump himself and also slammed by surviving students. The negative impact of his inaction prompted him to retire rather than accept a suspension.
"The video speaks for itself. His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21." @browardsheriff on the surveillance video from the #Parkland shooting https://t.co/5MGgalPRuD pic.twitter.com/echf3rx2g7
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) March 15, 2018
The former deputy has denied any wrongdoing during the incident, claiming that he only followed BSO training, establishing a “tactical position” because he believed the gunfire was coming from the outside of the building.
On Wednesday, Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Nikolas Cruz, after his lawyers announced that he would stand mute. Florida prosecutors, on the other hand, are reportedly seeking the death penalty.
Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, killing 14 students, and three faculty members. He is now facing 34 counts of murder.