School officer waited outside building for 4 minutes as killings happened: Sheriff
Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A Marjory Stoneman Douglas school resource officer has been suspended without pay after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said video shows him taking up a defensive position during the shooting but never entering the school.
Israel announced Thursday that the decision to suspend Scot Peterson was made after reviewing video from the shooting and taking statements from witnesses and Peterson himself, Israel said.
“He should have went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer,” Israel said.
Peterson was armed and on campus during the shooting Israel said. Since he met the requirements for retirement, Peterson opted to resign after he was told he was being suspended, Israel said.
Israel said that the video shows Peterson arrived at the west side of Building 12, where most of the killing happened. He then took up a position but “never went in.”
The video shows that Peterson remained outside the building for upwards of four minutes during the shooting, Israel said.
When the shooting started, Peterson was in an office dealing with a “school-related issue,” Israel said.
When asked by reporters to describe how the video made him feel, Israel responded, “sick to my stomach” and “devastated.”
Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty while the sheriff’s office investigates whether they “could’ve” or “should’ve” done more while dealing with suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, during the 23 calls they received involving Cruz or his brother since 2008, Israel said.
Cruz was arrested shortly after the shooting and is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is being held in a Broward County jail.
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