UNITED STATES NEWS

Officer who raced to Parkland massacre scene testifies against deputy who stayed outside

Jun 9, 2023, 4:02 PM

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A police officer who rushed into a high school building during the 2018 Parkland shooting testified Friday that a sheriff’s deputy outside confirmed that the shooter was upstairs.

The former Broward County deputy, Scot Peterson, is on trial for failing to confront the shooter who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. He has insisted since he spoke to investigators two days after the massacre that he couldn’t tell where the gunshots were coming from, and that he thought they may have been fired outside.

On the third day of Peterson’s trial, Coral Springs officer Richard Best related what he says Peterson told him outside the classroom building, WPLG-TV reported.

“I said, ‘Hey brother, what do we got?’” Best told the jury. “He said, ‘Gunshots second or third floor.’”

Peterson, 60, could be sentenced to nearly a century in prison if convicted.

“It is understood that the longer you wait, the more damage is being done,” Best said. “Every time you heard a gunshot, somebody might be dead.”

Peterson is charged with failing to confront shooter Nikolas Cruz before the gunman reached the building’s third floor, where he killed six people. The deputy is not charged in connection with the 11 deaths on the first floor, before he reached the building.

Peterson arrived at the building with his gun drawn 73 seconds before Cruz reached the third floor. Peterson took cover 75 feet (23 meters) away in the alcove of a neighboring building, his gun drawn. He didn’t leave his spot for about 40 minutes — around 35 minutes after the shooting had stopped.

Arman Borghei, who was a student on the building’s third floor during the shootings, said he looked out of a window and spotted Peterson below with his gun drawn.

Borghei said he was “really scared, wondering when help would arrive,” but never saw Peterson approach the building.

Best testified that he considered it his job to risk his life to stop a threat and render aid.

“It is not that as one police officer I want to go inside by myself,” Best said. “But that is our training — to go inside.”

The most serious charges against Peterson are seven counts of felony child neglect.

For Peterson to be convicted of child neglect, prosecutors must first show he was legally a caregiver to the juvenile students — defined by Florida law as “a parent, adult household member or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.”

If jurors find Peterson was a caregiver, they must determine whether he made a “reasonable effort” to protect the children or failed to provide necessary care.

Peterson is the first U.S. law enforcement officer ever charged for an alleged failure to act during a school shooting. Similarly, Texas authorities are investigating officers in the town of Uvalde who didn’t confront the shooter who killed 19 elementary students and two teachers last year. None have been charged, however.

The trial began Wednesday and is expected to last up to two months.

Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty and last year received a life sentence.

United States News

Part of a stegosaurus skeleton is displayed at Sotheby's New York in New York, Wednesday, July 10, ...

Associated Press

Stegosaurus fossil fetches nearly $45M, setting record for dinosaur auctions

NEW YORK (AP) — The nearly complete fossilized remains of a stegosaurus fetched $44.6 million at auction Wednesday, Sotheby’s said. The buyer’s name was not disclosed. The fossil, dubbed “Apex,” is considered to be among the most complete ever found, according to the auction house. The price blew past a pre-sale estimate of $4 million […]

44 seconds ago

President Joe Biden and Maritza Rodriguez, Biden for President Latina adviser, greets patrons at Li...

Associated Press

President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19 while campaigning in Las Vegas

President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling Wednesday in Las Vegas and is experiencing “mild symptoms” from the infection.

29 minutes ago

Ukraine's Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov arrives for a social dinner for defense ministers atten...

Associated Press

Ukraine defense chief says his nation will find battlefield solutions no matter who wins US election

ASPEN, Colorado (AP) — Ukraine will find a way to battle Russia’s invading forces even if former President Donald Trump wins a second term and imperils vital U.S. support for its defense, Ukraine’s defense minister said Wednesday. In carefully framed comments to an audience of U.S. policymakers and journalists, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov reflected the […]

30 minutes ago

Associated Press

Thousands of Nebraskans with felony convictions could be denied voting rights under AG’s opinion

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Thousands of Nebraskans with felony convictions could be denied voting rights under an opinion from the state attorney general released Wednesday. Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers issued an opinion that says a law passed earlier this year to immediately restore the voting rights of people who’ve finished serving their felony convictions […]

45 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Servic...

Associated Press

Multiple failures, multiple investigations: Unraveling the attempted assassination of Donald Trump

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — The young man was pacing around the edges of the Donald Trump campaign rally, shouldering a big backpack and peering into the lens of a rangefinder toward the rooftops behind the stage where the former president would stand. His behavior was so odd, so unlike that of the other rallygoers, that […]

1 hour ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Officer who raced to Parkland massacre scene testifies against deputy who stayed outside