The trial for the school resource officer who stood outside during the 2018 Parkland high school mass shooting began Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
Scot Peterson, a former Broward County Deputy, is charged with seven counts of felony child neglect, three counts of misdemeanor culpable negligence and a perjury charge for statements he made after the shooting, AP reported. Peterson’s charges reflect his failure to intervene during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and three staff members dead.(RELATED: ‘What Is The Death Penalty For?’: Parents Of Parkland Victim Decry Ruling That Spared School Shooter)
The trial could last up to two months, according to NBC6.
Today, I ask all Floridians to pause for a moment of silence at 10:17am to honor the 17 innocent lives lost at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.
We will continue to honor their memory in word and in deed and extend our sympathies to the Parkland community.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 14, 2023
Prosecutors argue Peterson – who was armed at the time of the shooting – was on the scene and had multiple opportunities to intervene, AP reported.
“You’ve got to get in there and you’ve got to find the shooter,” prosecutor Steven Klinger said, according to AP.
Peterson’s attorney, Mark Eiglarsh, claims that he didn’t know where the gunfire was coming from or where the shooter was.
“He was not a coward. [Peterson] did everything he possibly could with the limited information he had on hand,” Eiglarsh said, according to AP.
“We are extremely pleased with how the trial is going so far,” Eiglarsh told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We believe that the jury will see what I’ve known for years, that my client is innocent of any criminal wrongdoing, and did all he could to save lives during Nikolas Cruz’s abhorrent massacre. The public has been fed a false narrative about Scot Peterson. We have overwhelming evidence proving that my client didn’t know precisely where the shooter was during the attack and also, of the numerous actions that my client took during the attack to save lives.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comment from Mark Eiglarsh.
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