Trial Of Florida Deputy Accused Of Failing To Stop School Shooter Has Been Set For Closing Arguments

A former Florida sheriff’s deputy is on trial for allegedly failing to stop the shooter who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Parkland high school five years ago. Closing arguments are expected for Monday.

Scot Peterson, a Broward County deputy, and the prosecution spent the most of his trial disputing what he heard, saw, and observed during the six-minute attack on Feb. 14, 2018, inside a three-story classroom building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Peterson, 60, is accused of failing to stop former student Nikolas Cruz before the shooter entered the third story of the 1200 building, where six people perished.

A twitter user is not happy with the trial on Scot Peterson:

He now faces other counts, including felony child negligence. Eleven individuals died on the first level before Peterson entered the building; he is not charged in relation to their deaths. It is the first time a law enforcement official from the United States has been charged in relation to a shooting at a school.

Trial Of Florida Deputy Accused Of Failing To Stop School Shooter Has Been Set For Closing Arguments

During their two-week presentation, the prosecution brought witnesses who testified about the horror they had witnessed and how they knew where Cruz was, including students, instructors, and law enforcement officials.

Some claimed to have solid evidence that the 1200 building was the source of the gunfire. A training manager who testified that Peterson did not follow procedures for dealing with an active shooter was also called by the prosecution.

Several deputies who arrived during the shooting as well as students and teachers who testified that they did not believe the rounds were coming from the 1200 building were called by Peterson attorney Mark Eiglarsh during his two-day presentation. Peterson, who opted not to give a testimony, claimed that echos prevented him from identifying the shooter’s location.

The failure of the sheriff’s radio system during the attack, which limited what Peterson heard from oncoming deputies, has also been highlighted by Eiglarsh.

In order for Peterson to be found guilty of child negligence, the jury will also have to decide if he was a “caregiver” to the young pupils who perished and were hurt on the third level.

A caregiver, according to Florida law, is “a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.” If caregivers don’t make a “reasonable effort” to protect children or don’t give them the attention they need, they are guilty of felony neglect.

Security footage reveals that 36 seconds after Cruz’s attack started, Peterson left his office and jumped into a cart with two unarmed civilian security officers roughly 100 yards (92 meters) away from the 1200 building. They arrived at the structure after a minute.

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Peterson exited the cart close to the first-floor hallway’s east door. Cruz was firing his semiautomatic AR-15 rifle from the other end of the hallway.

Peterson did not open the door because he was not donning a bulletproof vest. Instead, he took cover 75 feet (23 meters) away in a nearby building’s alcove while keeping his rifle pulled. Long after the gunfire was over and other police officers had assaulted the structure, he remained inside for 40 minutes.

If found guilty, Peterson could receive a sentence of up to nearly 100 years in jail, although given his impeccable record, such a punishment is extremely unlikely.

Additionally, he might lose his $104,000 yearly pension. He has worked in schools for almost three decades, including nine years at Stoneman Douglas. Shortly after the shooting, he retired, and was subsequently retroactively fired.

Cruz’s jury was unable to reach a consensus about whether or not to execute him. The former Stoneman Douglas student, now 24 years old, was then given a life sentence.

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