Parkland Deputy Who Didn't Engage School Shooter Told Other Officers To Stay Away

Sebastian Murdock

A Florida sheriff’s deputy who resigned for staying outside Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School during last month’s mass shooting also warned other officers to stay away, according to newly released police radio recordings.

“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, Stay at least 500 feet away at this point,” ex-Deputy Scot Peterson says on police radio minutes after the shooting had stopped and students and staff lay dying. 

The Feb. 14 massacre killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen. Peterson, an armed school resource officer hired to protect students on the Parkland, Florida, campus, was forced to resign after it was discovered he did not engage the shooter. The police radio recordings, along with a timeline of events released Thursday by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, suggest Peterson may have hampered the ability of other officers to help victims. 

Peterson can be heard on the recordings giving commands as he waits outside the school and the first officers arrive.

“Get the school locked down, gentlemen!” he shouts.

Deputy Scot Peterson told other officers not to enter the building as a gunman was shooting students.
Deputy Scot Peterson told other officers not to enter the building as a gunman was shooting students.

Peterson says several times that he heard gunfire coming from the “1200 building” on the campus, but never entered. The county sheriff has said protocol is for deputies to engage an active shooter. 

“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” Peterson says over the radio at a point several minutes after the active shooting had stopped and the suspect was no longer in the 1200 building, according to the timeline.

Jeff Bell, president of police union representing Broward deputies, told the Miami Herald he welcomed the release of the new records.

“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” Bell said of Peterson. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?”

Download the police radio recording here. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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