Broward Deputy Scot Peterson stated publicly that he heard gunfire outside of the building during the Parkland Shooting on Feb. 14. But a new report from the Miami Herald indicates Peterson did in fact know the shooting was taking place inside the halls of Stoneman Douglas High School.
According to The Herald, the Broward Sheriff Department released the radio dispatches from the day of the shooting. Peterson could be heard fixating on Building 12 (the one Nikolas Cruz began firing inside of), and indicated that he heard the gunshots from "inside" the building.
"Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away," Peterson said over the radio.
The Herald reports that the records indicate Peterson, who had served as a school resource officer for many years, should have entered the building to save students and defend against the shooter as has been the contention of Sheriff Scott Israel. The records also allegeldy appear to show that other deputies in the area stopped from rushing to the school quickly. Peterson's actions, as well as the Sheriff Department's response, are currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
"It certainly backs up that he never went into the school," Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff Office said. "At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?"
The Herald also gave a detailed timeline of the shooting, starting at 2:19 p.m. when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz arrived at the school via an Uber. He began shooting inside Building 12 within 15 seconds of entering, and Peterson was in the administration building at the time.
Peterson first radioed in that potential shots were fired at 2:23 p.m., one minute after Cruz pulled the fire alarm.
He arrived at the southeast corner of the building and called in for backup, but remained outside the building until after Cruz had stopped firing.
"We're talking about the 1200 building, it's going to be the building off Holmberg Road," Peterson said. "Get the school locked down, gentlemen."
Cruz finished shooting at 2:27 p.m., killing 14 students and three teachers before abandoning his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the third-floor stairwell. He was able to escape in the crowd of panicking students undetected.
Moments after the bullets stopped, Peterson said "stay at least 500 feet from this point." A dispatcher echoed his call by saying Stay away from 12 and 1300 buildings.
Officer Tim Burton was the first to get a visual on Cruz, radioing in "White male with ROTC Uniform, burgandy shirt." Cruz was arrested within hours of the shooting.
The police made their first entrance into Building 12 at 2:32 p.m., 11 minutes after Cruz first opened fire.
Cruz wa indicted on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 accounts of attempted murder on Wednesday.