Roundly vilified for not entering a Parkland high school during a mass shooting, Broward Deputy Scot Peterson insisted publicly that he believed that gunfire was happening outside on campus — not inside the building.
But internal radio dispatches released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Thursday show Peterson immediately fixated on Building 12 and even radioed that gunfire was happening “inside,” reports the Miami Herald.
And, just as school shooter Nikolas Cruz was fleeing the building after killing 17 people, Peterson warned his fellow officers to stay away — even as wounded students and staff lay inside.
BSO policy calls for deputies to engage an active shooter and eliminate the threat.
“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” Peterson shouted as people screamed in the background.
The second-by-second timeline and audio recording of police radio chatter sheds new light on the chaotic and much scrutinized law enforcement response to the bloodshed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, the state’s worst school shooting.
The records appear to support Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s contention that Peterson, a longtime school resource officer, should have entered Building 12 to engage Cruz and try to prevent deaths. They also appear to show that other deputies may have refrained from rushing into the school at the direction of Peterson and a Parkland captain. The response by the agency has been the subject of national scrutiny, and is currently under review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
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