PARKLAND, Fla. — Video released Thursday from Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida shows a sheriff’s deputy remaining outside as a gunman murdered 17 students and staff inside. Officers are trained to engage an active shooter.
Surveillance video captured the response of deputy Scot Peterson, the school’s only armed security officer, about a minute after the shooting began. Peterson, seen in a dark green uniform, quickly turns and jumps into a golf cart to investigate. He radioed the sheriff’s office with a warning.
“Be advised we have possible — could be firecrackers — I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired,” he said.
Seconds later he’s seen running, before stopping to radio dispatch again.
“Make sure we get some units over here, I need to shut down Stoneman Douglas,” Peterson said.
Peterson stays across from building 12, which is out of view, just to the left of the pavement. He directs officers to lock the school down and block traffic.
Facing the death penalty, Fla. school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz arraignedPolice release frantic 911 calls from Florida school shooting
“Make sure there’s no pedestrian traffic anywhere on Holmberg Road,” Peterson said.
During the six-minute shooting, as Nikolas Cruz turned classrooms into deadly chaos, Peterson hardly moved, and he never entered the building.
Though the 32-year veteran deputy has won awards for his record, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said after he watched Peterson in the video, he was “devastated.”
After the shooting, Peterson said through his lawyer he didn’t go inside because he thought the shooting happened outside. He was suspended and resigned, but is still under investigation.