Seventeen people were killed on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida when a shooter—whose name is intentionally being left off of this report—entered the school and shot dozens of people before fleeing the school grounds. He was later apprehended.
Shortly after the shooting incident occurred, it was learned that the high school’s resource officer, Scot Peterson, remained outside the school and did not rush in to protect the students.
“Peterson was denounced as a coward and resigned in disgrace after the shooting,” the Sun-Sentinel reports.
According to the report, Peterson is being sued by Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow Pollack was killed in the shooting.
The two men have spent the last two days in court:
On Tuesday he sat for hours behind closed doors answering questions about his conduct last Feb. 14.
“He’s starting to get dementia, because he couldn’t recall a lot of things that happened that day,” Pollack said afterward. “He was reckless that day. If he would have went in, he would have saved my daughter on that third floor. … He’s haunted by it. I don’t have a problem with him being haunted by it. I’ll never see my daughter again.”
Peterson did not answer questions outside the courtroom after his seven hours of testimony. According to Pollack, Peterson claimed he called a “code red” emergency that should have put the school on lockdown. “It’s the first time we’ve heard him say that,” Pollack said. “We all know it’s impossible because no one was in lockdown.”
Peterson previously mentioned that he followed the “policies and procedures” that he was supposed to but it did not stop the shooting.
“I did everything that I thought at the time was appropriate,” Peterson told Today.
The Parkland officer said the school shooting will “haunt” him:
In addition to the lawsuit, as Fox News reports, Peterson also faced an effort from Florida lawmakers to strip his retirement benefits.
According to the report, the bill will be introduced by Republican state legislator Spencer Roach on March 5, when their legislative session begins.
From Fox News:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Peterson said he thought gunshots were initially fireworks set off by “probably a few kids acting like idiots” and that everything that day happened “all so fast.”
He resigned a week later and began collecting a monthly pension of $8,702 in April, the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale reported. Roach’s bill aims to strip Peterson of his benefits except for the contributions he made into the Florida Retirement System.
Pension payments are based on the number of years worked and the average of the employee’s five highest-paid fiscal years.