Broward County, FL — An armed officer on campus during last week’s mass shooting in Florida “never went in” the building to confront the killer, the Broward County Sheriff told reporters at a news conference on Thursday
Sheriff Scott Israel said Deputy Scot Peterson, the resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, opted instead to take up position outside the building for “upwards of four minutes.”
Asked what Deputy Peterson should have done on that day in which 17 were killed and over a dozen others injured, Israel said the officer should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”
In Sheriff Israel’s eyes, Peterson did “nothing,” and for that the sheriff suspended the officer without pay and placed him under an internal affairs investigation for failing to meet the requirements of his position.
Peterson then chose to resign, Israel told reporters Thursday. Two other deputies on duty that day, Edward Eason and Guntis Treijs, have been placed on restricted duty while the department reviews their response to the incident.
Sheriff Israel said at the news conference he was “devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the vigils. There are no words.”
Coral Springs police officer Tim Burton, who responded to the February 14 shooting, told the New York Times on Wednesday that he witnessed Deputy Peterson “seeking cover behind a concrete column leading to a stairwell.”