Reports have come to light that a deputy stationed outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL had the chance to enter the building to try to subdue gunman Nikolas Cruz before he killed 17 people last week. Instead, the deputy, school resource officer Scot Peterson, waited outside the building for four of the six minutes the shooting occurred.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that he saw the surveillance footage that confirms the report.
"I'm devastated," Israel said. "Sick to my stomach. There are no words."
Surviving students are just as devastated, shocked, and angry, but they found the words to describe Peterson's inaction.
“He’s an absolute coward, an awful human being.” Students react after learning veteran deputy remained outside the building during Parkland school shooting pic.twitter.com/4EGHb7ZzOc— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 23, 2018
"I don't understand why you coward out of doing your job," one mother who had two relatives at the school told NBC.
President Trump also shared his disgust at the deputy's inaction during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday.
"He didn't turn out to be too good, I'll tell you that," Trump said. "Turned out to be not good, not a credit to law enforcement, that I can tell you."
The shift is now focusing to preventative solutions. Many of the surviving students and gun control activists are proposing banning the sale of AR-15s, the firearm Cruz used to kill. Trump, however, reiterated his suggestion that the government should permit teachers and guards to have concealed carry permits in schools.
If a teacher would have had a hidden firearm, he or she would have "shot the hell" out of Cruz, Trump said.