Parkland Shooting Officer Responds to Claims He’s a ‘Coward’ on Today: ‘There Was No Time’
Within two minutes, 11 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “were already wounded and dying,” Today‘s Savannah Guthrie reported in an exclusive interview with the one school resource officer who was armed during that tragic day, Scot Peterson.
For the first time on television, Peterson — who some in the media have dubbed the “Coward of Broward County” and was pressured to retire after his inability to stop the massacre — told his side of events, explaining the chaos and disorder of the day.
“The families need to know. I didn’t get it right. But it wasn’t because of some, oh, I don’t wanna go into that building, oh, I don’t wanna face somebody in there. It wasn’t like that at all,” Peterson explained.
“I never thought even for a moment of being scared or a coward ‘cause I was just doing things the whole time,” he added.
Peterson explained that conflicting reports were coming in from dispatchers about the whereabouts of the shooter, some saying “firecrackers” were coming from Building 12, where the shooter was at large, and others saying shots were fired on the football field.
He also explained that the force taught him to hold a position and to secure the area, which is what he did. He also thought the shooter was a sniper shooting into the building, rather than someone in the building itself.
“When you’re outside there, and that building, it’s a three-story, it’s a hurricane proof building… It’s hard to even hear,” Peterson explained. “Those shots I heard, I was like, immediately I thought they were outside. I didn’t know where they were coming from, if there were coming from the 1200 building.”
“Those are my kids in there. I never would have sat there and let my kids get slaughtered. Never,” he said.
“It haunts me,” Peterson told Guthrie. “It’s easy, you know, to sit there for people to go, ‘Oh, he should have known that that person was up there.’ It wasn’t that easy. It wasn’t.”
“I’m never gonna get over this, you know.”
Watch above, via NBC News.
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