“Peterson… appears to remain there for most of the rest of the 27-minute video.”
Surveillance footage from February 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was released Thursday. The footage, which blurs out all individuals other than the officers, shows the activity outside of the school during the bloody massacre that left 17 people dead.
Deputy officer Scot Peterson was suspended after the department reviewed the footage, and prior to the public announcement of his failure to engage the shooter, resigned.
Footage was only released after the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, and CNN filed suit against the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and the Broward County School District.
The Sun Sentinel elaborates:
“The video speaks for itself,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that accompanied the release of the video. “His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21. After being suspended without pay, Peterson chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face possible termination.”
The video released Thursday starts less than a minute after the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Cruz entered the school and began shooting. As Peterson is seen running to a golf cart, the first 911 call about the shooting is made to Coral Springs police, according to a Sheriff’s Office timeline.
In the video, people whose images are blurred run out of a building. At the time, according to the agency’s timeline, Peterson over his police radio said: “Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers, I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired – 1200 building.”
The video shows a golf cart driving past the 700 building, adjacent to the building where the shooting took place. Peterson can be seen walking up to the 700 building and taking up a position by the wall, with a view of the building in which Cruz was shooting.
Although the video camera’s view of Peterson is partially blocked by a utility pole, he appears to remain there for most of the rest of the 27-minute video.
Peterson claimed he heard shots outside of the 1200 building, which is why he took up a post outside, rather than engaging the shooter. Dispatch records released last week (which we covered), revealed Peterson’s public account might not be congruent with the events that transpired.
Internal radio dispatches made public by the Broward County Sheriff’s Department Thursday appear to contradict Peterson’s story. According to those dispatches, Peterson said he heard gunfire “inside” the school. Worse still, “just as school shooter Nikolas Cruz was fleeing the building after killing 17 people, Peterson warned his fellow officers to stay away,” reports the Miami Herald:
But internal radio dispatches released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Thursday show Peterson immediately fixated on Building 12 and even radioed that gunfire was happening “inside.”
And, just as school shooter Nikolas Cruz was fleeing the building after killing 17 people, Peterson warned his fellow officers to stay away — even as wounded students and staff lay inside.
BSO policy calls for deputies to engage an active shooter and eliminate the threat.
“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” a panicked Peterson shouted as people screamed in the background.
…But Peterson, according to the timeline and radio dispatches reviewed by the Miami Herald, remained focused on Building 12.
“All right… We also heard it’s by, inside the 1200,” Peterson said at 2:25 p.m.
But that’s not all. The second by second timeline also shows that it was eleven minutes before anyone entered the school.
It was at 2:32 — 11 minutes after the shooting began — that four Coral Springs officers and two BSO deputies made the first police entrance into the building, helping to “extract a victim.”
We’ve covered this story extensively. For previous posts, see here.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.