School Resource Officer: I Did Nothing Wrong During Shooting

Scot Peterson says he's been 'maligned'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2018 3:02 PM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2018 2:33 AM CST
School Resource Officer: I Did Nothing Wrong During Shooting
This Feb. 18, 2015 image taken from video provided by Broward County Public Schools shows school resource officer Scot Peterson during a school board meeting of Broward County, Fla.   (Broward County Public Schools via AP)

Via a lawyer, former Florida sheriff's deputy Scot Peterson says he's been "maligned" by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and that he didn't do anything wrong during the shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. Peterson, who was then the school resource officer, was suspended and ultimately resigned after Israel said Peterson failed to enter the school and confront the gunman. But Peterson says in his lawyer's statement that he "thought that the shots were coming from outside," and thus "took up a tactical position" to assess the situation. His lawyer says Peterson was the first member of the sheriff's office to report the gunfire, assisted school administrators with accessing security videos, and was helpful to the SWAT team by giving them keys and drawing diagrams of the campus, NBC News reports.

"The allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue. Mr. Peterson is confident that his actions on that day were appropriate under the circumstances and that the video (together with the eye-witness testimony of those on the scene) will exonerate him of any sub-par performance," the statement reads. Per the Washington Post, the statement says Israel has given "the clear implication that Mr. Peterson was responsible for failing to help the students," but the truth is, "Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the 17 victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need." On Monday, President Trump had some not-so-kind words for Peterson. (More Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stories.)

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