In Elevator, Parkland Student Confronts Deputy Who Failed to Confront A Killer

Disgraced former school resource deputy Scot Peterson may have thought giving seven hours of deposition testimony Tuesday was tough.

Then he took a one-minute elevator ride with former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyle Kashuv.

"Can you explain to me why 17 people died at school? Fourteen kids, (you) stood 70 feet away … did absolutely nothing?" Kashuv asked, as a friend rolled cellphone video in the Broward County courthouse elevator.

Peterson did not answer.

He was at the courthouse for a closed deposition in one of several lawsuits filed against him stemming from his actions during the Parkland massacre.

The video, tweeted by Kashuv Tuesday evening, racked up more than 10,000 retweets and 28,000 likes, including one from former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who praised his courage. "You stood up for your friends who no longer have a voice," she wrote.

Reached by NBC 6 in Washington, where he's scheduled Thursday to give a presentation on school safety and the Second Amendment to the American Conservative Union's CPAC event, Kashuv said he confronted Peterson because "he was the only individual armed and he didn't do his job, and I wanted to ask him why he didn't do that. It was his job to go inside and he let 17 people die, 14 of those are kids, three of those were unarmed individuals who actually ran in when that was his job."

In the elevator, Kashuv told Peterson as much: "That was your job, getting paid 80 grand to stand there… It's disgusting. It's despicable. And I hope that lives with you for the rest of your life. You had a chance to save those kids… and you didn't."

Peterson retired before the sheriff's office could fire him for his inaction, and is collecting a pension of more than $104,000 a year – something a state legislator proposed in a bill this week should be rescinded by the state for "wanton or willful neglect."

Kashuv agreed.

"I think it's preposterous that this individual gets $104,000, which I would consider blood money," he said in the interview.

In the elevator, he was no less critical.

"I don't know how you live with yourself every day, man. You're the one that's supposed to go inside," Kashov said. "Fourteen of my classmates. Never coming back because you didn't act."

Kashuv, who is a senior this year at another high school in Broward, was in an adjacent building on Feb. 14, 2018, when the killer struck and the deputy cowered, 70 feet from the building as gunshots rang out. Peterson did not move for 48 minutes, a state investigative commission concluded.

An excellent student who hopes for admission to an Ivy League college, Kashuvhas emerged as a leading voice for young conservatives, an ideological counterweight to others from the school who advocate for stricter controls on Second Amendment rights.

On this matter – Peterson's failure to protect students – they find some common ground.

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