Who Is Scot Peterson? New Details On The Sheriff Deputy Charged With Felony For Not Intervening In Parkland High School Shooting

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Who Is Scot Peterson? New Details On The Sheriff Deputy Charged With Felony For Not Intervening In Parkland High School Shooting
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Broward County Sheriff Deputy Scot Peterson, who was a School Resource Deputy (SRD) at the time of the fatal shooting in Parkland, Florida, was reportedly the only armed deputy on the campus on February 14, 2018 when Nikolas Cruz opened fire in a school building. Instead of taking charge and entering the building upon hearing of the presence of a gunman, Peterson stood behind a cement pillar for 48 minutes “while students and teachers were slaughtered,” Ryan Petty, the father of one of the victims, Alaina Petty, told CNN.

Who is he, and what else is there to know? Who is Scot Peterson?

1. Deputy Scot Peterson’s role was investigated after surveillance footage found that he remained outside the school during the gunfire

He was the only armed officer at the school at the time of the shooting, so there’s no doubt he was the most qualified person in the area to take action. With the release of this evidence, Peterson is being charged with 11 counts, including felony child neglect charges. President Trump said of Peterson that the deputy “certainly did a poor job.” You think? “He trained his whole life,” Trump said. “But when it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened. But he certainly did a poor job, there's no question about that.”

He retired right after the incident, but continued to collect pension. Over a year later, he was fired at a disciplinary hearing by new Sheriff Gregory Tony, which apparently could affect his retirement pay.

2. There's no clear reason he remained outside except for fear

Even Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel looked visibly angry and disappointed with the finding when he announced Peterson’s resignation at the press conference back in 2018. “Devastated, sick to my stomach — there are no words,” Israel said, especially since Peterson had clearly been aware of the active shooter situation. Purportedly, he never entered the building despite taking a position on the west side of Building 12, where most of the attack took place. “This law enforcement officer should have done everything in his power to save these innocent children,” John Tupps, Florida Governor Rick Scott’s spokesperson, said. “The governor believes the students and the families who lost loved ones deserve to know exactly what happened. He wants answers.”

RELATED: Who Is Sydney Aiello? New Details About The Parkland Shooting Survivor Who Died By Suicide

3. Peterson isn’t the only deputy being investigated

According to Crime Online, “Sheriff Israel also announced that the department had put two additional deputies on restricted duty following an internal reviews that found 23 instances of police reports involving Nikolas Cruz’s family since 2008.” He said authorities were in the process of deciding whether those officials could’ve done more to intervene earlier. You know what else the sheriff could’ve done? Listened to any of the 23 calls relating to Cruz and his brother literal years before the shooter enrolled in Parkland.

4. Nikolas Cruz had raised red flags over and over long before the shooting, but no one intervened

As a teenager, “he showed a propensity for violence toward small animals, expressed enthusiasm about guns and knives and even began introducing himself as ‘a school shooter.’” The Sheriff’s Office was alerted to Cruz’s behavior multiple times over the years, including numerous calls to his home and even the involvement of the FBI about potential threats he posed to schools in the past. They never chased the leads far enough. His peers reported his behavior over and over again to no avail.

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When people say that they aren’t surprised to hear that a particular person became a shooter, and he has a history like this, society needs to take a good look in the mirror and evaluate why we let such things slide. We need to think about why signs were overlooked, what kind of people overlooked them, and then we need to take action. Guns aren’t the problem; they just perpetuate the problem. Our attitude towards mental health and the wellbeing of one another is the problem.

Leah Scher is an ENFP finishing her degree at Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health. She draws inspiration for her writing from writer/director Wes Anderson, and for her lifestyle from her grandmother. Lastly, she's always actively seeking two things: a job having anything at all to do with publishing, and a chance to meet Jesse Eisenberg.