NBC News
Scot Peterson was a resource officer on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.

Ex-resource officer at Parkland, Fla., school charged with neglect of duty

June 4, 2019
Scot Peterson, who was on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, when a shooting attack killed 17 people, faces seven felony and four misdemeanor counts.

Scot Peterson, the school resource officer faulted for his inaction during the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has been arrested and faces charges of neglect of duty.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Peterson, 56, has been booked into the Broward County Main Jail on 11 criminal charges, including child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury. He also has been fired from his job as sheriff's deputy.

Peterson had been vilified by many for failing to confront the former student who gunned down and killed 17 students and staff at the school on Feb. 14, 2018.

“He needs to go to jail and he needs to serve a lifetime in prison for not going in that day and taking down the threat that led to the death of our loved ones,” said Lori Alhadeff, who was elected to the Broward County school board aftter her daughter, Alyssa, 14, died that day. “It was his duty to go into that building and to engage the threat and he froze and he did nothing.”

Peterson’s arrest comes after a 15-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. 

Peterson is facing seven felony counts of child neglect, three misdemeanor counts of culpable negligence and one misdemeanor count of perjury, the State Attorney’s Office says.The investigation concluded that Peterson refused to investigate where the gunshots were coming from, retreated during the gunfire as victims were being shot, and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.

“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers ad staff and injured 17 others,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

Also terminated was Sgt. Brian Miller.

“[Peterson and Miller] were found to have neglected their duties at MSD High School,” Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said.

MORE: 2018 Video of an NBC interview with Peterson:

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