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Shamed Parkland Officer: 'How Can They Keep Saying I Did Nothing?'

Shamed Parkland Officer: 'How Can They Keep Saying I Did Nothing?'
(Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 12:06 PM

The Florida sheriff's deputy who remained outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day of the shooting that killed 17 people said in an interview released Monday that he is haunted by the massacre and its aftermath.

"It's haunting," former Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson told The Washington Post. 

"I've cut that day up a thousand ways with a million different what-if scenarios, but the bottom line is I was there to protect, and I lost 17."

The Post reports that Peterson, 55, spends most of his time hiding inside a duplex that he shares with his girlfriend, Lydia Rodriguez, with a motion detector by the porch and a sheet covering the front door.

"How can they keep saying I did nothing?" Peterson asked Rodriguez once, while looking over documents on the shooting. "I'm getting on the radio to call in the shooting. I'm locking down the school. I'm clearing kids out of the courtyard. They have the video and the call logs. The evidence is sitting right there."

She replied, "It's easy to second-guess when you're in some conference room, spending months thinking about what you would have done."

"There wasn't even time to think," Peterson said. "It just happened, and I started reacting."

When the shooting began, a school security guard reported hearing a "possible firecracker," which Peterson had dealt with before.

"Probably a few kids acting like idiots," he said he thought at the time. When he got to the building, the fire alarm had been set off, and he heard two loud bangs that sounded more like gunshots than firecrackers.

Peterson called in a "Code Red" to lock down the school, saying on his police radio that he thought he heard "shots fired. He wasn't sure if the shots were coming from inside the school or outside, in the parking lot or from the roof, so he stayed in place so he wouldn't expose himself.

911 calls from students inside the building describing the shooter's location were routed to the Coral Springs Police Department, and not the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

It took six minutes for the officers to determine what building the shooter was in, but by that time the massacre was already over.

"I couldn't get him," Peterson said he told Rodriguez that day, before he was criticized.. "It was my job, and I didn't find him."

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The Florida sheriff's deputy who remained outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day of the shooting that killed 17 people said in an interview released Monday that he is haunted by the massacre and its aftermath.
parkland, shooting, florida, officer
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2018-06-04
Monday, 04 June 2018 12:06 PM
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