In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, people on both sides of the political divide pointed fingers as to who was ultimately responsible for the tragic deaths of 14 students and three faculty members.
Democrats, in disgustingly predictable fashion, largely ignored the shooter and cast blame for the massacre upon Republicans and the NRA as they attempted to gin up support for strict gun control measures. Meanwhile, Republicans sought to hold the actual shooter himself accountable for his horrific crimes.
But according to Fox News, there may actually be another individual who should carry at least some of the blame for the toll of the slaughter. A Broward County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a resource officer was at the school that day and failed to engage and stop the shooter.
That officer, Deputy Scot Peterson, was suspended without pay — and subsequently resigned and retired — after his lack of action during the mass shooting was discovered via surveillance camera footage, which showed him take a position outside the building where the shooting occurred and wait as long as four minutes while children inside were summarily executed by the evil incarnate wielding an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle.
Incredibly, even as he stood aside while children died, Peterson nevertheless “believed he did a good job,” according to a union official, as reported by the New York Post.
Jim Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, told the Post that while Peterson — who is not a member of the union but was contacted by them nonetheless — was “distraught” over what had occurred on his watch, “He believed he did a good job calling in the location, setting up the perimeter and calling in the description” of the shooter.
Bell declined to specifically chastise Peterson for his lack of action that day, but seemed to softly condemn him when he stated, “We have to act, even if that means risking our lives to save many, many more lives. I would demand that from our union members.”
“You’re listening to an execution every time you hear the rifle shot,” he added rather grimly.
However, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was not as diplomatic as the union official in calling out Peterson’s failure to adequately respond to the shooting, according to south Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper, as he bluntly stated Thursday that Peterson should have “Went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”
Peterson had served as a deputy with the agency since 1985 and had been assigned as the school’s resource officer in 2009. Ironically, his 2017 performance review stated that Peterson “values his position and takes pride in protecting the students, faculty and staff at his school.”
“I’m in shock and I’m outraged to no end that he could have made a difference in all this,” lamented Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. “It’s really disturbing that we had a law enforcement individual there specifically for this reason, and he did not engage.”
“He did not do his job,” Runcie added. “It’s one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever heard.”
It is worth noting that, following the 1999 Columbine school shooting, most police departments abandoned the old tactic of setting a perimeter and waiting out a gunman in favor of immediately entering a building to stop the carnage as soon as possible, something Peterson would have been well aware of.
It remains to be seen if this deputy was a coward, simply seized up in the heat of the moment or had other concerns on his mind, such as avoiding the potential of inadvertently catching innocent students with cross-fire as he engaged the shooter in the tight confines of the school’s hallways, had he actually entered the building.
Regardless, though he may believe that he “did a good job” that fateful day, that opinion isn’t shared by too many others, and he deserves whatever criticisms he receives if what is alleged to have occurred is in fact correct.
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