Ex-deputy Scot Peterson says he’s no coward, and he’s not to blame in Parkland shooting

Former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson says he was improperly blamed for the Parkland high school massacre and that he actually acted appropriately that fateful day.

In a 14-page report, which Peterson sent to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, the former school resource officer says he isn’t the coward he was made out to be in the commission’s report.

He says he followed the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s training and policies for handling an active-shooter crisis.

“I assessed the situation and acted accordingly to the real time intelligence I assessed on the scene,” his response to the commission says.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the MSD Commission, called Peterson’s rebuttal a “fairy tale.” He said Peterson refused to appear before the commission, even when subpoenaed, but then accused it of being one-sided.

“It makes me mad,” Gualtieri said. “The reason why is he continues to engage in this self-serving rhetoric. He needs to take responsibility for his actions. He needs to fess up.”

Peterson’s 14-page rebuttal stands in stark conflict with the findings of the MSD Commission, which investigated law enforcement’s response to the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting in which 17 people were killed and 17 injured.

The commission said there was “overwhelming evidence that Deputy Peterson knew that the gunshots were coming from within or within the immediate area of Building 12” and there was no evidence that he “attempted to investigate the source of the gunshots.”

He said he didn’t know the gunshots were coming from inside the 1200 Building of the high school.