Parkland, Florida, USA
The armed officer who was stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida did not enter the school during last week’s deadly shooting, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced on Thursday.
An internal review found out that officer Deputy Scot Peterson was present at the campus of the Florida high school. With this, Paterson resigned on Thursday after Israel suspended him without pay.
“Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed. He was in uniform,” Israel said.
“After seeing the video, witness statements and Scot Peterson’s very own statement, I decided this morning to suspend [him] without pay pending an internal investigation,” he added.
“We’re not going to disclose the video at this time, and we may never disclose the video, depending on the prosecution and the criminal case. But what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position and he never went in,” Israel continued.
Israel said Peterson chose to resign as he had met the necessary requirements for retirement.
However, the sheriff asserted that the investigation would go on.
When asked by a reporter what Peterson should have done, Israel said the latter should have gone in, “addressed the killer and killed the killer.”
He further said that the video which he saw left him with “no words” and “absolutely devastated”.
Scores of students from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School joined other students from other high schools on Wednesday as massive protests against ending of gun violence gained momentum across the US this week.
Students from California to Washington D.C. held marches in solidarity with the survivors from the Florida high school. The crowd marched at the state Capitol complex in Tallahassee, with banners and posters and chanting slogans such as “Never again!” and “Shame on you!”
19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, went on a rampage at the high school in Parkland, Florida and gunned down 17 students and injured 14 others. He allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle that he had purchased legally.
Cruz was a former student and was expelled from the high school for disciplinary reasons. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.