Speed Reads

after parkland

Why didn't Parkland's 'coward' cop go inside during the school shooting? He asks himself the same question.

As a school resource officer, it was Scot Peterson's job to protect the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But the school's only armed guard didn't go inside the building when a shooter struck the Parkland, Florida, school, and he told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday that he's still trying to figure out why.

Peterson's inaction — and his subsequent full-pension retirement — triggered nationwide scorn. The beloved officer turned "coward of Broward" County told the Post that reporters still come to his door. A victim's parent is suing him, and his name pops up on TV whenever another school shooting happens.

While serving for nearly a decade at Stoneman Douglas, Peterson envisioned what he'd do in a shooting. Yet even after therapy, watching a simulation of the shooting, and recounting that February day to the Post, he can't remember hearing more than two or three gunshots. And he can't break down why he "just didn't know" to go inside.

"I've cut that day up a thousand ways with a million different what-if scenarios," Peterson said, "but the bottom line is I was there to protect, and I lost 17." Read Peterson's full interview at the Washington Post.