New Video of Police Officer Who Failed to Act During Parkland Shooting Baffles Detective

Posted: Sep 06, 2018 1:40 PM
New Video of Police Officer Who Failed to Act During Parkland Shooting Baffles Detective

On Wednesday, the state commission investigating February's shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was shown a surveillance video revealing more of former deputy Scot Peterson's movements during the rampage. Peterson has been condemned by parents, and even President Trump, who called him a "coward," because he failed to intervene during the shooting. Now, critics have more opportunity to lash out at the disgraced officer.

In the new video, Peterson is shown making all the wrong moves. For instance, once the shooting began, he failed to provide the important radio report, wasting precious minutes, and told officers to keep away from the school building. He should've known better, according to detective Zack Scott.

During the ordeal inside the freshman building, which left 17 dead, Peterson called over the radio for intersections to be blocked, which members of the commission said was precisely the wrong tactic when an active shooter is busy killing people. He failed to provide an initial radio report about the shootings to the Sheriff’s Office, letting minutes pass in silence. Peterson told officers to stay at least 500 feet from the building.

The correct call during an active shooter situation is for law enforcement officers to charge in after the shooter, said Zack Scott, the Sheriff’s Office detective who showed the video to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

Peterson is also seen hiding from the gun shots. Although he was only 69 feet from the door to the freshman building, where the gunman was on his rampage, the officer retreated.

“Why?” asked Max Schachter, a member of the commission who lost his son Alex in the shooting. “He was at the front of that building and he didn’t enter. He could have done something. Why did he go away and hide?”

Peterson tried to explain that in his sit down interview with the "TODAY" show's Savannah Guthrie in June. He said the scene was very confusing and that he was unclear as to where the shots were coming from. He "immediately stopped" when he heard the first two shots because he thought they were outside. He "never believed" there was an active school shooter inside. It is a hurricane proof building, which makes it "hard to hear," he said.

Parents didn't buy it. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, is one of many fathers who call Peterson a "coward."

"He’s no police officer, no law enforcement officer," said Mr. Schachter. "Anybody with a badge would have done something. He did nothing. I hope he rots in hell.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating whether Peterson's negligence calls for criminal charges. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting.