Father of Parkland Student Sues 'Coward' Deputy

Andrew Pollack's daughter was killed in the Florida high school shooting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2018 12:00 PM CDT
This Feb. 14, 2018 frame from security video provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows deputy Scot Peterson, right, outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.   (Courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – The father of a student killed in a mass shooting at a Florida high school is suing the armed officer who stood outside the building as people were massacred within, the AP reports. Meadow Pollack was among the 17 killed on Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Her father, Andrew Pollack, said Scot Peterson, the former sheriff's deputy and the school's resource officer, is his main target in the wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday in Broward County. "He let my daughter get shot nine times at point-blank range," Pollack told the Miami Herald. "He had the opportunity to go in and instead, let all those people get murdered." Peterson, 54, was suspended with pay and then immediately resigned and retired on Feb. 23, when video surveillance footage from the school showed he never entered the building when the gunfire began.

When 19-year-old shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz arrived at the high school on Feb. 14, the lawsuit claims a "pusillanimous" Peterson "cowered in a safe location between two concrete walls" as the gunman "rained bullets upon the teachers and students." Pollack said he wants to let people know that Peterson is a "coward." "My daughter died crawling by a doorway—shielding a classmate who also ended up dying—waiting for someone to come help her. Help never came." Peterson "could have stopped it," Pollack said. "Could have saved my kid. Nobody should be able to not do their job, receive a pension and ride off into the sunset." The lawsuit also names Cruz; the estate of Cruz's mother, who died in November; and James and Kimberly Snead, the couple who took Cruz in after his mother died. It also names three behavioral and mental health facilities that evaluated Cruz.

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