What to Know
- Scot Peterson says he didn’t violate any policies and is reacting to the nationwide criticism he received from the sheriff and the President
- Peterson says President Donald Trump has made him "the punching bag" for the school shooting.
One day after giving his moment by moment account of what happened on the day of the tragic shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, long time school resource officer Scot Peterson says he didn’t violate any policies and is reacting to the nationwide criticism he received from Sheriff Scott Israel all the way to the President of the United States
“This will haunt me for the rest of my life, it will,” Peterson told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie during the second part of his first televised interview that aired Wednesday morning.
“My phone started going off saying that Sheriff Israel is basically ripping you apart,” Peterson said. “What matters is that when we in law enforcement arrive at an active shooter, we go in and address the target, and that's what should have been done. He said ‘you did nothing when you clearly knew there was a shooter inside.’”
“He said ‘you clearly knew’ based on what he had seen. It’s not true. It’s not true.”
Israel wasn't the only person to criticize Peterson's actions. Trump said that Peterson “doesn’t love the children” while calling him a coward. Peterson says Trump has made him "the punching bag" for the school shooting.
“He doesn't know. He wasn't there,” Peterson said, adding “coward is the worst label you could have as a police officer, and it's just not true."
The former BSO deputy says he wishes he had the opportunity to speak with the families.
“I'm sorry, sorry that I didn't know where he was. I didn't know who it was, or where they were,” Peterson added. “It's tough.”
Peterson is critical of the investigation into him, saying eight days isn’t sufficient for a complete investigation. Since the shooting, Peterson says he has been leaning on his faith and his family – including a fiancée and four grown children.
Peterson is facing wrongful death lawsuits from the families of victims over his role in the events of that day.