Former Broward County sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson was widely condemned for his failure to enter Stoneman Douglas high school as Nikolas Cruz shot at students.
He previously claimed publicly that he believed the gunfire was coming from outside the school, but recent police dispatches released this week by the Broward County Sheriff’s office reveal that at the very least, Peterson also believed the shots were coming from inside Building 12.
According to a February 26 statement issued by his lawyer defending his reaction to the shooting, Peterson “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus,” and as a result, took up a tactical position outside.
But the recordings released Thursday paint a somewhat different — and chaotic — sequence of events. Though one officer says he has heard shots fired by the football field, Peterson says on the dispatch that he hears possible shots fired from inside the 1200 building. “Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers, I think we have shots fired, possible shots fire — 1200 building,” he tells the dispatcher.
Essentially, the conversation between officers acknowledges possible shots fired both near the football field and in the 1200 building. This becomes even more confusing when, about a minute later, one officer says students are running toward the football field.