FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission will meet again Wednesday in Sunrise following the arrest of former resource officer Scot Peterson.
The school resource deputy who was on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the mass shooting last year, Peterson was fired and arrested Tuesday in connection to the massacre.
- Ex-Stoneman Douglas deputy fired, arrested in connection to shooting
- FDLE: Scot Peterson did nothing to prevent shooting that killed 17
- Peterson and Sheriff's sergeant fired, accused of neglecting duties
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have charged Peterson with seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury after a 15-month investigation, the agency said.
"The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news release. "There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives."
Additionally, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said he had fired Peterson and Sgt. Brian Miller in connection to the mass shooting at the Parkland high school.
"The deputy and sergeant were found to have neglected their duties at MSD High School. They have been terminated and will no longer be privileged to serve as law enforcement deputies for the Broward Sheriff’s Office," Tony said in a news release.
FDLE agents say that after gunshots rang out at the school on Valentine's Day last year, Peterson "refused to investigate the source of the gunshots, retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building."
More than two dozen Parkland parents and survivors have filed lawsuits in connection to the mass shooting, claiming defendants — including Peterson — failed to prevent the attack or engage the gunman.
The Broward sheriff at the time, Scott Israel, was suspended in January by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Tony was appointed in his place.
Parkland victim's mom reacts
Lori Alhadeff lost her daughter Alyssa on February 14, 2018 in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
“She was a beautiful, vivacious, incredible soccer player. I miss her so much every single day,” she told Spectrum News in a Skype interview.
Alhadeff said she was texting with her daughter as everything was unfolding inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I told her to hide and help was on the way, and Scot Peterson froze,” she recalled.
Alhadeff is relieved the former school resource officer was arrested Tuesday.
“Today there is finally accountability of him being arrested for his lack of action that day that could have helped saved my daughter’s life and 16 others,” she told us.
Alhadeff said she is hoping those charges stick, and that he is found guilty in court. If he is, he could face up to 96 and a half years behind bars.
Peterson was booked into the Broward jail on Tuesday. State Attorney Mike Satz told the Associated Press that if convicted of all charges, the prison sentence would be almost 100 years.
Bond was initially set at $102,000 but was reduced June 6 to $39,500. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer also eliminated a previous requirement that Peterson wear a GPS monitor.
The Broward State Attorney's Office, 17th Judicial Circuit will prosecute.