Following an investigation by FDLE, former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 56, was arrested in Broward County today on seven counts of neglect of a child and three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. The arrest comes after a 15-month investigation into the actions of law enforcement following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
“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,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
“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. 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,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
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 the school resource officer at MSD High School during the school shooting. The investigation shows 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.
During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote212investigative reports totaling over 800 hours on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting. 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.
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.
Attorney General Ashley Moody released this statement after the arrest of Peterson, “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was a horrible tragedy and it is devastating to think that the loss of innocent lives of students and faculty could have been prevented. As a mother, I cannot imagine the heartbreak and pain the families of the victims and the whole Parkland community have felt every day since February 14, 2018. I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Broward State Attorney's Office for investigating this tragedy and holding Scot Peterson responsible for his inaction.”