Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday the career law enforcement officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned while under investigation.
In a late afternoon press conference, Israel said Deputy Scot Peterson, 54, retired from the department after he was suspended without pay over his actions last week during a shooting that left 17 dead at the school in Broward’s Parkland community.
The sheriff said the agency suspended Peterson pending an investigation and, while he exercised his right to retire, the investigation would continue. The resource officer, who was armed, in uniform and on campus during the shooting, was shown on a video outside the building for several minutes while the six-minute long shooting unfolded.
When asked what Peterson should have done by media, Israel said he should have, “Went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”
Peterson had been with the department since 1985 and served as a school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas for the past nine years, The Sun Sentinel reported. In 2016, he was paid $101,013 by the county when overtime was included along with his base salary.
Brandon Huff, an 18-year-old student at the school, told local media he saw Peterson outside on the radio during the shooting. “Two coaches went in and were shielding kids and throwing themselves in front of bullets and he did nothing,” he said.
Two other unnamed deputies are on “restricted administrative assignments” in what Israel termed a “fluid investigation” over tips reported to the agency concerning the school shooter before the incident.
Meanwhile, the sheriff has upped the number of law enforcement personnel on campus and, with the blessing of school officials, armed them with AR-15s.
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