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The Florida deputy who knew a gunman was loose at the Parkland high school but refused to go inside to confront the assailant was arrested Tuesday on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction during the massacre that killed 17 people.
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Scot Peterson was on duty as the resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the February 2018 shooting but never entered the building while bullets were flying. He was charged with child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury — allegations that carry a maximum prison sentence of nearly 100 years.
Peterson - Surveillance - Video - Staff - Members
Peterson was seen on surveillance video rushing with two staff members toward the building where the shooting happened. When they arrived, he pulled his weapon and went forward but then retreated and took up a position outside, where he stood with his gun drawn.
The charges follow a 14-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which conducted interviews with 184 witnesses, reviewed hours of surveillance videos and compiled 212 investigative reports, the agency said.
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Peterson "did absolutely nothing to mitigate" the shooting, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. "There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives."
Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was killed, said she was surprised to hear of Peterson's arrest. She recalled sending a text to her daughter when she heard there was shooting.
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"I told her to hide, that help was on the way. Well, Peterson was that help, but he froze, and he failed us all that day," Alhadeff said. "He was supposedly the good guy with the gun who was supposed to go in...
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