Scot Peterson, the Parkland sheriff’s deputy and resource officer who stayed outside during the mayhem at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has finally come forward to tell his side of what happened during the school’s Valentine’s Day massacre.
Peterson sat down exclusively with Today’s Savannah Gutherie to express his condolences for the loss of “his kids” and explain why he never went inside the school building.
“The families need to know, I didn’t get it right, but it wasn’t because of some, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go into that building,’ or ‘I don’t want to face somebody in there.’ It wasn’t that at all.”
Gutherie asked the former officer, “Were you a coward? They’re calling you the coward of Broward County.”
With no hesitation, he responded, “There was no time. Things went so fast … I never thought for a moment of being scared or a coward because I was just doing things the whole time.”
He says he never froze, but does say that the communication between dispatch and him was virtually non-existent.
“No intel. No real-time intelligence whatsoever [about a shooter] inside the building or even at school.”
Though Peterson says Feb. 14 will “haunt [him] for the rest of [his] life,” some Marjory Stoneman parents are buying the story he’s telling.
Real estate agent-turned-activist Fred Guttenberg lost his 14-year-old daughter, Jamie Guttenberg during the shooting. He recently told the Miami Herald, “I’m tired of him trying to paint himself as the victim. He is not a victim. He created victims. He keeps referring to them as his kids. They are not your kids, Scot Peterson! You let them die!”
Guttenberg went on to say, “He keeps mentioning the third floor. If he had done his job, this killing wouldn’t have made it to the third floor. Those people who lost their lives, including my daughter, are victims of his inability to do his job; victims of his failure.”
He finally added, “This interview makes him even more pathetic than he already was. You failed me and my daughter. If you are truly sorry, I challenge you to face me.”