Broward County Sheriff: Armed School Resource Officer Failed to Respond to Parkland Shooting, Has Retired


The uniformed and armed school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas High School has retired due to revelations that he did not attempt to intervene in the school shooting on Feb. 14.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who dodged questions of his department's failures in stopping the shooter while advocating for new gun control laws at a CNN town hall event Wednesday night, told reporters the resource officer, Scot Peterson, should have "went in, addressed the killer" and "killed the killer."

The sheriff said seeing the video of Peterson failing to enter the building made him sick to his stomach. Israel planned to suspend Peterson pending an investigation, but Peterson instead resigned and went into retirement, according to CNN.

The resource officer was apparently alerted to the shooting and arrived at the building where it was happening but never entered the building to try and stop the slaughter. Families of those killed in the attack had learned of the officer's failure to act and were outraged by the dereliction of duty. They pressured Israel to act.

In addition, two other Broward County Sheriff's deputies have been disciplined for improperly handling their interactions with the shooter when they were called to his home. Israel, who defended the conduct of his department at the CNN town hall, said there were two instances where the officers should have intervened against the shooter before he carried out his attack.

It's unclear at this point if any other Broward County Sheriff's deputies also made mistakes that ultimately resulted in the Parkland shooter being able to carry out his attack.

News of the Broward County Sheriff's Department's mistakes in dealing with the shooter before and during his attack comes after news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to act on two separate tips about the shooter's violent threats, including a detailed tip that the shooter had acquired firearms and expressed a desire to kill people in the weeks before the attack.

Stephen Gutowski   Email Stephen | Full Bio | RSS
Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.

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