September 19, 2018

Report: School Resource Officer Ordered Police Not to Enter Building Where Shooting Occurred Despite Hearing Shots Inside

Audio and video released by the Broward County Sheriff’s office reveals that the school resource officer on Majory Stoneman Douglas’ campus did in fact hear gunshots inside the school, yet told officers not to enter the building.

The Miami Herald reports that then-Deputy Scot Peterson can be clearly hear saying on radio dispatches, “I think we have shots fired, possible shorts fired —1200 building.”

Peterson proceeded to remain “at the southeast corner of Building 12” and ordered officers to lock down the school. Peterson can be heard telling an officer who thought he heard gunfire outside that the shots were going off inside Building 12, yet Peterson nor any other police officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department entered the building during.

In fact, Peterson said over the radio as 911 calls were going out that “no one comes inside the school.”

When the shooting stopped, Peterson told officers on the radio dispatch to “stay at least 500 feet away at this point.” The first officers to enter the school were officers from the neighboring Coral Springs city, 11 minutes from when the first gunshot was fired.

Peterson had previously issued a statement defending himself by saying that he thought that the gunshots had originated from outside:

Peterson resigned when reports first came out that he didn’t enter the building during the shooting. Sheriff Scott Israel said at the time that he was “devastated” and “sick to my stomach” that Peterson never went in. However, Israel has absolved himself from any blame for Peterson not going in. Department policy states that officers need “to engage an active shooter and eliminate the threat,” per the Miami Herald.

In total, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received 45 calls about the shooter or his brother from 2008 to 2017, yet did nothing to prevent the shooting from happening.