He faces a combined sentence of nearly 100 years in prison.
On Valentine's Day 2018 in Parkland, Florida, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and proceeded to shoot and kill 17 people. Administrators, staff, teachers, and students scrambled to safety as the active shooter roamed the hallways, but the school's resource officer, 56-year-old Scot Peterson, was nowhere to be found. The former sheriff's deputy was spotted by responding officers pacing behind a building in shock, but when it was revealed that he knew there was a shooter on campus and didn't enter the school, an investigation was launched.
A lieutenant from the Sunrise Police Department said that during the shooting, they saw Peterson repeating "Oh my God," and when they asked Peterson what was going on, he stated, "I don’t know. I don’t know...Oh my God, I can’t believe this." It was alleged that Peterson not only didn't enter the building, but he told responding officers to stay back. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released a statement regarding their investigation into Peterson, saying "former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others. There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives."
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They added that 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." The FDLE also claim that Peterson hid for almost 50 minutes after the shooting began.
Peterson was arrested on Tuesday and charged with seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury. According to State Attorney Mike Satz, the charges carry a combined sentence of close to 100 years. His bail has been set at $102,000. In response to the investigation, Peterson said the charges against him are unfair. “I assessed the situation and acted accordingly to the real time intelligence I assessed on the scene,” he wrote.