Just over a week after one of the largest mass school shootings since Sandy Hook took place, the country has finally learned that there was an armed campus cop present at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the deadly attack. The was a fact that was seemingly withheld as all of the media coverage was focused on politicizing the tragedy and pushing for gun control. Now we’re learning more about why the one man empowered to stop the attacker from killing more people, who didn’t run into the school like the hero first responders and intentionally hid outside instead.
One student witness, frustrated by complete inaccuracies he was seeing on television, finally got his first-hand account out to the media when he mentioned something strange about the campus security guard. “The only armed person in the school, the SRO, was reportedly nowhere to be found during the time of the attack and it shows in the fact that Cruz managed to vacate the school unscathed,” Stoneman Senior Brandon Minoff said. Since that admission, authorities have confirmed that to be true along with a sick secret about the guard.
A police officer who was on duty at a Florida high school and did nothing to stop gunman Nikolas Cruz when he started his massacre has been suspended.
Deputy Scot Peterson, who was armed with a handgun, didn’t follow police procedure and immediately confront Cruz when he started his rampage killing 17 people with an AR-15 assault rifle, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s department.
Instead, he took cover at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for upwards of four minutes and “never went in,” according to Sheriff Scott Israel who said Peterson’s actions left him “Sick to my stomach. There are no words.”
Israel added that the school resources officer should have “gone in, addressed the killer and killed the killer.”
What’s even more shocking, is that in 2016, Peterson had been personally made aware of Cruz’s vile Instagram posts that detailed his plans to shoot up the school. He did nothing then, just like he did nothing once he actually attacked the school as he said he would.
A description of where Peterson hid and why explained by Coral Springs Officer Tim Burton in an interview with the New York Times, sheds more light into the grossly negligent deputy.
“Burton said Peterson ‘was seeking cover behind a concrete column leading to a stairwell,’ because he was worried Cruz could be lurking in the lot. He said Peterson couldn’t hear gunshots or screams to lead him to the precise location of the shooting,” the Daily Mail reported.
Peterson is now defending his sickening actions, saying he “believed he did a good job,” and fulfilled his duty by “calling in location and description of gunman.” Ironically, Peterson now has personal security standing guard outside his home, protecting him from news reporters and perhaps retaliation, since clearly, he’s unable to protect anyone, including himself.
Peterson should have been a person out issuing parking tickets, not responsible for protecting an entire school of children which he had not intentions of saving. As a 33-year veteran of the police force, he was paid pretty well for not doing his job, making a base annual salary of $75,673.72, according to Jeff Bell, the president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association. “With longevity and first-responder bonuses, he was probably making closer to $80,000,” Bell added. It’s unfathomable why he would get first responder bonuses without actually being a first responder when he was supposed to.
This deputy had no right to wear a badge and uniform and present himself as someone who could be trusted to serve and protect when he didn’t feel confident inside to do that. Perhaps when he took the job at Stoneman Douglas High, he was hoping to be a glorified hall monitor. That’s essentially all he was in the end as he hid behind a concrete post and for four minutes, listening to 17 people scream for their lives as they were being gunned down and wondering when he would come save them. He never did, he escaped before they could, sacrificing their lives for his own safety.
This proves that the real solution isn’t just putting armed guards at schools. It ensuring that each person trusted to protect has the wherewithal to do their job and use their gun. It’s not just about having good guys with guns for protection, it’s about having good guys with guns who can and will use it if and when the time comes. The deputy coward could have and should have killed Cruz, sparing an unknown number of lives and hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money that will now be used to incarcerate this individual for years.