Florida Resource Officer Arrested for Inaction During Parkland Shooting

In February of 2018, 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and 17 others were injured. The alleged gunman, 20-year old Nikolas Cruz, is facing the death penalty, although he tried to bargain for a life sentence if he pleads guilty. His trial should begin in 2020. But life is getting interesting today for Scot Peterson.

Peterson, a sheriff’s deputy, was on duty as the school’s resource officer when the shooting began. But he was arrested today for not doing his job and staying outside the building while the shooting was going on. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has charged him with seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury.

“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

The 15-month investigation shows that Peterson refused to investigate the source of the gunshots, retreated while the shooting was still happening, and also directed other law enforcement officers to remain 500 feet from the building. Had he acted differently, he may have prevented the deaths of students and teachers. Peterson was the only armed officer stationed at the school.

“The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was a horrible tragedy and it is devastating to think that the loss of innocent lives of students and faculty could have been prevented,” Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, said in a statement. “As a mother, I cannot imagine the heartbreak and pain the families of the victims and the whole Parkland community have felt every day since February 14, 2018. I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Broward State Attorney’s Office for investigating this tragedy and holding Scot Peterson responsible for his inaction.”

This arrest will likely end his state pension. Peterson was suspended after the shooting pending investigation but applied for retirement shortly thereafter. He has since been drawing $8,702.35 each month. Being incarcerated may disqualify him for his state pension.

Scot Peterson, if found guilty on all charges, faces as much as 96.5 years in prison.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • russ June 14, 2019, 10:23 am

    Guess he was a cop for the benefits…..salary and pension. He just didnt have what it takes to put his life on the line, thats what makes the cops and civilians that do Heroes. Take his pension and let him live with his actions. He must think about it 24 hrs a day

    • Beachhawk March 13, 2020, 10:47 pm

      You nailed it. There are a bunch of cops working in Broward County and Ft. Lauderdale who are retired or dumped by northeastern police departments. Most are double dipping and padding their retirement incomes. They have no connection to the job or the communities they supposedly serve. I’m glad to see FDLE file charges against this cowardly officer.

  • Jay June 8, 2019, 8:27 am

    His lawyers should be arguing. Mr Peterson was just doing what the media and politicians point out, that more guns in the mix can only add to the tragedy. More bullets flying can only cause more possible endangerment to those around this guy shooting. He was just doing what everyone seems to be suggesting that we need more restrictive gun control and he was doing just that, restricting guns and bullets in the vicinity to save life’s!

  • Jonny5 June 8, 2019, 3:29 am

    In Ezekial 15.4, Jesus talks of the strong protecting the weak. Jesus would have gone in there to protect his flock and eliminate that threat. Jesus would have supported 2a. Praise the Lord.

  • Steve Grife June 7, 2019, 11:40 am

    Wrong, he kept other officers away that would have likely ended the situation sooner. That’s the problem. But you’re right he didn’t HAVE to put himself in danger but why wear a gun and badge if you don’t plan to use them? This highlights why we must all carry and be prepared to protect ourselves as the police have no obligation to do it.

  • Randy June 7, 2019, 10:44 am

    Of course we need to charge him….. why hold the shooter accountable when we can blame the cop? Everyone knows “what I would do….” then the bullets start flying….

  • LJ June 7, 2019, 10:40 am

    Interesting point – and you’re absolutely right. LE are sworn to uphold the law and they don’t have to take a bullet while doing it.

    The anti-gun left would have you believe you don’t need a weapon for self defense and all you have to do is pick up the phone and give the police a call. They’ll be right over … maybe … maybe not. Hell, even Kumquat Harris owns a gun, but she and the rest of the liberards don’t support your right to own one. Maybe if there would have been some armed teachers in that school someone could have taken that little bastard out.

    I have no doubt there are many brave LE’s out there that would have handled that situation completely different and rushed right in there. Many would probably have given their life in the process to protect our precious little-ones but Mr. Peterson chose not to. He’ll have to live with that for the rest of his life. Personally, I would have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. But that’s just me, I’m not judging Mr. Peterson or his actions.

    One things for sure, there’s no need to ban Scot Peterson from owning a firearm. In his long and illustrious career he probable never pulled his out of the holster anyway.

  • Bobo June 7, 2019, 10:34 am

    As far as this officer with all the talk of bravery or cowardice over 50 years I’ve seen boys you’d least expect freeze up in combat yet others you’d least expect show extraordinary bravery.

  • Robert Gantt June 7, 2019, 10:32 am

    Was he armed?

  • Ken Taylor June 7, 2019, 10:15 am

    I believe you are correct.

  • Ken June 7, 2019, 9:48 am

    While you could argue he did not have to help I think the damning part of this is “…and also directed other law enforcement officers to remain 500 feet from the building.”

    It is “fine” if he was too afraid to do his job and defend others. It is NOT ok to stop others from helping as well and that is why I believe he should face punishment. This is pretty dang close to helping the criminal in his spree.

    My two cents on the matter

  • Kimberpross June 7, 2019, 9:34 am

    You stated my thoughts exactly. He is a coward and a disgrace and his inaction likely cost lives but to try him as a murderous criminal, as it sounds, is over the top. Did he break any laws? Other than human trust and compassion? I wonder if any specific discussions and expectations were covered on what actions he should take if confronted with a shooter? This is where he should be tarred and feathered and made an example through the biased liberal main stream media. They are world class at that for supporting their agenda.

  • Uncle Al June 7, 2019, 8:18 am

    That’s what I thought! What a pension for guarding a school.

  • TJ Reeder June 7, 2019, 8:08 am

    I know this comment will piss off almost everybody but…

    Yes I’m sure all of you would have rushed into that building as I know I would have without a thought. I know this for a fact.

    BUT…. while we are right to point the finger at this guy for doing nothing while wearing the badge and taking the oath, and we are right to yell coward at him we need to remember that as far as him breaking the law and being charged as he has been, that the SCOTUS ruled that a Police Officer is not required to put himself in danger to protect you. I’m not sure how it was worded but it meant that. They don’t have to do squat for you. So yea the guy is a disgrace to the uniform and to his oath but IMHO his actions or lack there of were not a violation of the law. Sad but there it is.

  • Iron Maiden June 7, 2019, 6:53 am

    He is a chicken, didn’t have the metal to be a cop.Wanted to keep eating donuts and sipping coffee in his ever running while parked crown vic.What a freaking looser.I hope he gets convicted and his not earned pension stripped from him

  • Dr Motown June 6, 2019, 12:58 pm

    $8700/month pension? No wonder why he ran away 🤬

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