Scot Peterson, the Broward County Sherrif’s Deputy who fled from a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine’s Day, is being sued by a group of students and parents claiming his inaction led to the loss of life that day.
The lawsuit cites Peterson’s decision not to act, but remain outside of Stoneman Douglas High while Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 assault rifle to carry out a shooting spree that killed 17 people, including 14 students and 3 adults, as the cause for the blood spilled that day.
The suit is being carried out by a group of 15 current and former students. Of those students 2, Giancarlo Mendoza and Audrey Diazare, are considered adults while the remaining 13 are minors and listed with either a parent or guardian.
According to the suit, Person’s poor training and “arbitrary and conscience-shocking actions and inaction directly and predictably caused children to die, get injured, and get traumatized.”
During the attack, Peterson never entered the building, despite hearing gunshots and by the time the building was declared safe, the suit says, “there was no need — everyone had already been brought out by police or was dead.”
Also listed as a defendant is Broward County. Warnings about Nikolas Cruz had been to the County Sheriff’s department as early as 2008 and yet nothing was done to prevent Cruz’s eventual murder spree.
Months of heavy backlash has fallen on Peterson since the shooting. Before the current lawsuit, Peterson faced severe public criticism after security camera footage showed the 33-year veteran leaving the area of the shooting on a golf cart. The resource officer has also been sued once before because of his failure to enter the building during the attack. That suit was filed by Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year old daughter was murdered in the shootings.
“He had the opportunity to go in and instead, let all those people get murdered,” Pollack told the Miami Herald in April.
The damages the current suit seeks are unspecified.