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Former Florida deputy facing criminal charges for failing to act during Stoneman Douglas High shooting

Posted: 3:18 PM, Jun 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-04 16:37:57-04

(WTXL) — Following an investigation by the FDLE, a former school resource officer who was caught on surveillance video standing outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a former student killed 17 students and staff has been arrested for child neglect, negligence and perjury.

Former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 56, was arrested in Broward County Tuesday on seven counts of neglect of a child and three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. The arrest comes after a 15-month investigation into the actions of law enforcement following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

“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.”

Agents say Peterson was the school resource officer at MSD High School during the school shooting. They say the investigation shows Peterson refused to investigate the source of gunshots, retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.

During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports totaling over 800 hours on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting.

“I was pleased the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation that yielded the arrest of Scot Peterson. All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges. It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.

Following an administrative discipline hearing at BSO headquarters Monday afternoon, Peterson was taken into custody and booked into the Broward County Main Jail. According to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, Peterson and another employee, Sergeant Brian Miller, have been terminated from their positions after being found to have neglected their duties at MSD High School.