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FL SRO Heard Shots Inside School Building, Told Officers to Stay Away

March 09, 2018  | 

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.


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Anthony @ 3/9/2018 6:14 PM

Very sad. As the President said, "either incompetent or a coward."

Philip Glynn @ 3/9/2018 6:41 PM

I was not there, but wish that I had been. I would have pinpointed the gun fire and rushed to it to try and save lives and dispatch the killer. I'm sure every other professional dedicated LEO feels the same way. After 35 years of law enforcement, I've encountered good and bad LEO'S. There will and should be a thorough investigation of the Sheriff, the SRO, the training and all LEO'S involved. Many times in my law enforcement career I put my life on the line to protect and serve because that's what we do!
Phil Glynn, DEA retired

Retired NY Boss @ 3/9/2018 6:50 PM

Wolves, Sheep, Sheepdog. If you don't want to be a sheepdog, protect the sheep and stop the wolf, don't put on the uniform.

Eric Fuller @ 3/9/2018 7:48 PM

Easy to say "I would have.." followed by something brave. Its Monday morning and the footballs are flying. If SRO screwed up, he'll get his. No need for other LEOs to jump on the bandwagon and rip him up, plenty of others will do that. Lets make sure we are training our troops right and learning from mistakes. I hammer it into my troops, ride to the sound of the guns, that's why we get the big bucks.

spigolon @ 3/11/2018 1:53 AM

The true measure of a cop is this; will he engage/fight in a physical altercation when another officer needs help or will he stand there and watch the fight? Will he hunt down an active shooter or will he tremble, shake and cower down and hide. I'm a 36 year retired commander and I have seen my share of cowards, these officers hide behind a gun and badge and have no business in law enforcement. What kind of officer are you? Think about it...

Jacob @ 3/14/2018 11:49 AM

Kids are being murdered. You go in. Period.

Tom Gresham @ 3/17/2018 8:43 AM

Peterson should be charged as an accessory to murder...yeah, I know it probably would never happen, but this should open law suits against him and hopefully his liberal chief...even Barney Fife would have charged in with just one bullet in his revolver...

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