Deputy Scot Peterson said in a statement released through his lawyer that he is not a “coward” and acted appropriately during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Deputy Peterson has been criticized for choosing to wait outside with his gun drawn while the shooter inside the school killed 17 people and injured dozens more. According to one student witness, Peterson “was pointing his gun at just the building with kids in it, and he was just talking on the radio and he never did anything for four minutes.” (RELATED: Parkland Student To Deputy Peterson: ‘You’re Despicable’)
Peterson said in a statement released through his lawyer, Joseph DiRuzzo, that he did not do the wrong thing, arguing that his actions “were appropriate under the circumstances.”
“[Peterson] heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus,” the statement continues. “BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire, one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement.”
“Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” the release said.
Peterson further claimed that he told an arriving Coral Springs police officer that he believed the shots were coming from outside of the school.
“Radio transmissions indicated that there were a gunshot victim in the area of the football field, which served to confirm Mr. Peterson’s belief that the shooter, or shooters, were outside,” his lawyer said.