The Broward County Sheriff Deputy who maintained a “defensive position” and refused to enter a south Florida high school during a shooting spoke publicly Monday, saying he is “no coward” and responded to the incident according to his training.
Deputy Scot Peterson -harshly criticized for failing to enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the massacre- released his first statement on the incident this week, saying he “heard gunshots” and believed the shooter “was outside.”
According to the Herald Sun, Peterson “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus.”
“BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement,” added the statement.
“Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” concluded Peterson’s lawyer.
The statement comes just four days after the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed Peterson never entered the building, saying he was “sick to his stomach” over the revelation.
FLORIDA FURY: Gov. Scott SLAMS FBI, Demands Answers Over BOTCHED School Shooting Tip
Florida Governor Rick Scott called-on the FBI to publicly release information provided to the bureau just weeks before 19-year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at a local high school; blasting the agency’s “inexcusable inaction” after it received specific information about the gunman.
Gov. Scott’s office released a statement Monday on the bureau’s “mishandling” of specific intelligence relating to Cruz, with one tip saying the shooter “possessed weapons” and may be in the final stages of planning a “school shooting.”
“Last week, our state and nation was shocked to learn of the FBI’s inexcusable inaction after receiving a tip informing them of Cruz’s desire to carry out a school shooting,” said Scott. “The FBI’s failure to initiate an investigation raises many questions, and the victims’ families deserve answers now.”
“Last week, I called on Director Wray to resign, and the FBI should release all records involving this terrible error. People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings and put off what truly needs to be done. Instead, someone needs to be held accountable,” he added.
The Governor’s comments come days after FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly admitted that his agency failed to follow “proper procedure” after it received information Cruz was planning his attack; pledging to prevent similar inactivity in the future.
BROWARD BOMBSHELL: Florida Governor ORDERS PROBE as Sheriff REFUSES to Resign
Governor Rick Scott is opening an official probe into the Broward County Sheriff’s Department over their mishandling of the deadly school shooting that rocked southern Florida earlier this month; demanding answers as Sheriff Scott Israel refuses to resign.
Scott formally requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to launch an investigation into the agency on Sunday night, saying there needs to be an “immediate” inquiry following reports four Deputies refused to enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during and after the attack.
“I have asked for FDLE to immediately investigate the law enforcement response and will continue to review this matter as more facts come out. There must be an independent investigation and that is why I asked the FDLE Commissioner to immediately start this process,” said Scott’s statement.
The Governor’s request comes as Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel refuses to resign in the wake of his department’s botched response; telling CNN’s Jake Tapper he’s “given amazing leadership to this agency” and that you “don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in.”
Watch Israel’s comments above.