What to Know
- The father of a teenager fatally shot in the Parkland school tragedy has filed a lawsuit
- The wrongful death lawsuit is partly against Scot Peterson, who was seen on surveillance not entering a building during the shooting
- Seventeen people, mostly teenage students, were shot dead in the Feb. 14 tragedy
The father of a teen who was fatally shot in the Parkland school tragedy said he has filed a lawsuit against the former school resource officer criticized for not confronting the gunman.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack was among the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 shooting, said he filed the lawsuit against former Broward County sheriff's deputy Scot Peterson along with accused gunman Nikolas Cruz, the estate of Cruz's mother and other entities, on Monday.
He singled out Peterson with disdain as a "coward."
"I filed a wrongful death suit against Deputy Peterson today," Pollack wrote on Twitter. "I want to expose that coward so bad. Where ever he goes I want people to recognize him and say that's one of the cowards of Broward. The SRO that let those children and teachers die on the 3rd floor!"
Peterson retired in late February after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he had been suspended without pay.
"I'm not the kind of guy that's going to let him run off with his pension into the sunset," Pollack said of Peterson. "Wherever he goes, I don't want him being able to hide anywhere in the country and when he walks in somewhere they are going to look at him and point at him and say, 'That's the guy that let those children and teachers die on the third floor."
Pollack said he wanted to make Peterson feel "miserable" as he copes with his daughter's death.
"I'm miserable. I'm going to be miserable for the rest of my life. Maybe I'm going to make Peterson's life a little miserable too," Pollack said.
Israel said Peterson took a position outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as the onslaught occurred, citing security footage. Israel said Peterson was "absolutely on campus," adding that he was armed and in uniform during the shooting.
"After seeing video and witness statements, and Peterson's own statement, I decided this morning ... to suspend Scot Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation," Israel said in February.
When asked what Peterson should have done during the shooting, Israel said he should have "went in, addressed the killer and killed" him.
Peterson's attorney has said that his client believed the gunfire was coming from outside the building, and that his response to that kind of threat was in line with the department's training.
"Let there be no mistake, Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the seventeen victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need," attorney Joseph DiRuzzo said in February. "However, the allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue."