The resource officer who failed to confront alleged mass murderer Nikolas Cruz on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last February asked a judge to find he had no legal duty to protect the students and faculty from any harm, but his argument was rejected and a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him will move forward, CBS WFOR reports.
"There isn't a common law duty and never had been for a private person to protect others from the violence of 3rd parties," argued Scot Peterson's attorney, Michael Piper.
Peterson resigned from his post with the Broward Sheriff's Office in late February after Cruz killed 17 students and staff and wounded 17 more when he opened fire with an assault rifle. He told NBC's "Today" show in June he did not know gunshots were coming from the 1200 building, where Cruz opened fire, contradicting the commands he gave over the radio during the shooting.
"I think we've got shots fired," Peterson said less than two minutes after Cruz opened fire. "Possible shots fired – 1200 building. We're talking about the 1200 building."
Peterson was not at Wednesday's hearing. He is one of several defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of Meadow Pollack, a student at Douglas who was killed by Cruz.
"These guys swear an oath to protect your children at school," Andrew Pollack said. "I don't want to hear he didn't have a duty to go in there. Then what is he doing there?"
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