Florida authorities have released a surveillance video showing the only armed Sheriff’s Deputy standing outside a door to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida during the Valentine's Day massacre that killed 17 people.
"You know, I really believe, you don't know until you test it. But I think I really believe I'd run in even if I didn't have a weapon."US President
Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school, did not enter the targeted building during the shooting, and instead is seen riding around in a golf cart.
The 27 minutes of surveillance footage confirms past reports that Peterson stood outside the Parkland chool whilst shooter Nikolas Cruz unloaded his AR-15.
Resignation rather than termination
According to Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, after being suspended without pay, the 54-year-old Deputy chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face being sacked.
Peterson has denied wrongdoing and said he thought the shots were being fired from outside the school.
He has attracted widespread criticism for his decision to remain outside, including from the US President himself.
His inaction has also fed into the debate about whether more school staff should be armed in future.
In a statement accompanying the video, Sheriff Scott Israel said:
"The video speaks for itself. His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21. After being suspended without pay, Peterson chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face possible termination. In accordance with Florida law, we are prohibited from discussing any other details of the IA investigation until the case has concluded."
A controversial decision
The decision to release the CCTV footage was taken earlier this week by a Florida judge, who agreed with news outlets that it was in the public interest to do so. Police and school officials had resisted the move whilst the investigation into the shooting was active.
Footage from inside the school has not been released.