Disgraced deputy says he’s no coward for not running into school shooting

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who did nothing as a killer stalked the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School spoke out for the first time Monday, saying he’s not a coward, according to a report.
Deputy Scot Peterson — who resigned in disgrace from his position as a school resource officer last week — said through a lawyer that he believed the shooter was outside the high school and that protocol demanded he “seek cover,” according to the Miami Herald.
“[He] heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus,” his Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer, Joseph DiRuzzo, said in a statement.
''Broward Sheriff’s Office 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,” it notes. “[His actions] were appropriate under the circumstances.”
“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,” DiRuzzo said in the statement.
Peterson claims he took cover after responding to a report that firecrackers were going off at the school, his lawyer said. The deputy claims he told the first Coral Springs officer who arrived on the scene that he thought “the shots were coming from outside,” according to the statement.
“Radio transmissions indicated that there [was] a gunshot victim in the area of the football field, which served to confirm Mr. Peterson’s belief that the shooter, or shooters, were outside,” it notes.
On Thursday, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed that Peterson stood near an entrance of the Parkland, Fla., high school for more than four minutes after Nikolas Cruz allegedly began firing but “never went in.”
“I am devastated. Sick to my stomach. He never went in,” Israel said at a press conference.

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