The Armed Deputy Who Didn't Act During School Shooting

As suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students and teachers within Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the armed deputy who was tasked with protecting the children is accused of taking cover to protect himself instead of doing what he had been paid and trained to do.

Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Scot Peterson to resigned/retired Thursday, making him eligible for whatever benefits and pay he might be entitled to receive. He put in that notice once he learned he would be suspended without pay amid an investigation. 


Broward officials say Peterson was armed and in uniform. Sheriff Scott Israel said he was seen "take up a position" outside of the west side of building 12 during the massacre, "and he never went in."

Peterson allegedly hid behind a concrete column near the stairs. Israel said Cruz began shooting at 2:21 p.m., and exited the building about 2:27 p.m. Peterson, who towers over 6 feet tall, was outside the building for four minutes, according to Israel. 

His actions appeared to contradict what his superiors expected of him. 

They were also inconsistent with his most recent employee evaluation stating that he took "pride in protecting the students, faculty and staff" and "was dependable and reliable."

Israel said the investigation will continue, and two other unidentified BSO deputies were placed on administrative duties over their handling of tips reported about Cruz's prior threats.

Mike Broomhead

Mike Broomhead

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