The Florida high school where a former student shot and killed 17 people with an assault-type rifle is reopening for teachers Friday as the community grappled with word that the armed officer on campus did nothing to stop the shooter.
That failure, plus reports of a delay in security camera footage scanned by responding police and several records indicating the 19-year-old suspect displayed behavioral troubles for years added to what the Florida House speaker described as an “abject breakdown at all levels.”
The school resource officer on Feb. 14 took up a position viewing the western entrance of that building for more than four minutes after the shooting started, but “he never went in,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference. The shooting lasted about six minutes.
The officer, Scot Peterson, was suspended without pay and placed under investigation, then chose to resign, Israel said. When asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”
The sheriff said he was “devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. We lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals. … I’ve been to the vigils. It’s just, ah, there are no words.”