Well, the surveillance footage from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on the day of the shooting has been released. The footage features former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson. Peterson, the school’s resource officer at the time, has been pilloried for failing to engage shooter Nikolas Cruz when he began his rampage on February 14. Cruz killed 17 people that day, and sparked calls for stricter gun laws. Yet, the other side of the story is the serial failure from state, local, and federal officials to act upon the many red flags Cruz presented prior to the shooting.
A judge ordered the video’s release, citing a compelling public interest (via Miami Herald):
Citing “strong public interest,” a Broward judge last week ordered public release of the four video clips from the surveillance system at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. The clips do not show the carnage inside Building 12, but depict police response on campus outside.
Exactly how the Broward Sheriff’s Office responded in the initial moments of the Feb. 14. massacre has been the focus of extensive national criticism. When gunfire broke out at 2:21 p.m. ,school resource deputy Scot Peterson arrived within minutes, but took up a position outside and never entered the building to engage shooter Nikolas Cruz.
The video footage released offers a limited viewpoint that focuses mainly on Broward Deputy Scot Peterson.
It begins shortly after gunfire erupted, with Peterson and civilian security monitor Kelvin Greenleaf walking with purpose outside an administration building, clearly alarmed by sounds. When the fire alarm is triggered — apparently by the smoke of the gunfire — the two begin running, get into a golf cart and speed toward Building 12.
The angle of the remaining footage shows the two pull up to the southeast corner of Building 12 as what appears to be a group of students – the images are blurred under orders from the judge – appear to be moving about frantically on a lawn. Peterson and Greenleaf can be seen waving, then the school officer assumes a position that is partially obstructed by a pole.
Peterson resigned rather than be placed on unpaid suspension. Sheriff Scott Israel, who has been another lighting rod for controversy, commented that he was sick to his stomach when he saw the footage of his deputy not entering the building. To make matters worse, he warned fellow officers to stay at least 500 feet away from the building. It also appears that he was not truthful concerning where the shots were coming from (via Fox News):
The former school resource deputy who stayed outside a Florida high school during a mass shooting appeared to know the shots were coming from inside the building, despite stating he thought they were outside.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department released internal radio dispatches from the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that revealed former Deputy Scot Peterson saying the gunfire was coming from “inside,” the Miami Herald reported.
“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” Peterson was heard saying over the radio.
Peterson previously stated he believed the gunshots were coming from outside the school, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
"Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers, I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired," Peterson told dispatchers.
Peterson waited at least four minutes outside the building. The entire incident lasted several minutes. It took eleven minutes for police to actually enter the building. Peterson has maintained that not all the facts are being reported, and that he’s not a coward.