FORT LAUDERDALE — Scot Peterson, a former Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy and the school resource officer during the Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School shooting, was arrested Tuesday.
Peterson, 56, was charged with seven counts of child neglect as well as three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury.
The arrest comes after a 15-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the actions of law enforcement following the school shooting in Parkland.
“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 release. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
According to the release, the investigation determined that Peterson refused to investigate the source of 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.
“I was pleased the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation that yielded the arrest of Scot Peterson,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said in the release. “All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges.
“It’s never too late for accountability and justice.”
During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports totaling more than 800 hours on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018, school shooting, according to the release. FDLE agents received the full cooperation and assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coral Springs Police Department and all other agencies that responded to the school shooting.
The case was investigated with the Broward State Attorney’s Office under the direction of Broward State Attorney Mike Satz. The case will be handled by Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly.
Peterson was arrested at the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters and booked into the Broward County Main Jail. The Broward State Attorney’s Office, 17th Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.