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Sheriff: Armed deputy never went into school to engage gunman during shooting

Nikolas Cruz is accused of killing 17 people in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. (CNN Newsource | WSVN)

The armed school resource deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the mass shooting "never went in," to confront the killer, according to Sheriff Scott Israel.

The SRD, identified by the sheriff's office as Deputy Scot Peterson, resigned after being suspended without pay by the sheriff's office Thursday morning. The New York Times reported Peterson "hid behind a concrete column leading to a stairwell,” according to an interview with Coral Springs Police Officer Burton who worried the gunman could be lurking in the lot because he heard no gunshots or screams to guide him toward the site of the shooting.

Israel made the decision after reviewing video, witness statements and Peterson's own statement about what happened on Valentine's Day.

Peterson earned SRO of the Year honors in 2014 while working at Stoneman Douglas. He made $108,304 before taxes that year as well, according to personnel records released by the sheriff's office. Peterson earned a Longevity Service Award in 2015 for 30 years of service.

The resignation of the armed deputy is one of several major announcements in the aftermath of the shooting. The FBI admitted to a blunder last week, by saying it failed to follow protocols after getting a tip about Cruz in January. The agency said someone called a public tipline to say Cruz wanted to kill people and cited his gun ownership, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts. The FBI said the intel should've been flagged as a potential threat to life and forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office for further investigation.

The shooting happened a week ago. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, is accused of killing 17 people.

After the shooting, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Cruz walked to a Walmart to buy a drink at Subway, then strolls to McDonald's and leaves. 80 minutes after the gunfire at the high school, a Coconut Creek Police officer arrested Cruz in Coral Springs. He's now being held on 17 counts of premeditated murder.


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