Scot Peterson, the school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas High School where a mass shooting killed 17, has resigned from his position. Sheriff Scott Israel responded to Peterson’s resignation with a blunt assessment of what was expected of the deputy. Israel says Peterson should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Peterson is under investigation for failing to enter the building while Nikolas Cruz gunned down students and educators in Parkland, Florida.
“Deputy Peterson was on campus,” Israel told assembled press. “He was armed. And as our command staff moves forward on this investigation, the response and actions of Deputy Peterson will be looked at and scrutinized, as will everyone’s.”
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that an officer from the Coral Springs police department who responded to the shooting had seen Deputy Peterson in a Stoneman Douglas High parking lot. The deputy “was seeking cover behind a concrete column leading to a stairwell,” Officer Tim Burton said.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Peterson, a resource officer at the school since 2009, was placed on internal investigation earlier in the week. (Israel also stated this was the case.) The Sheriff’s Office has also placed two additional officers on “a restricted assignment” as a separate internal investigation takes place.
The mass shooting has prompted a number of issues and ideas being discussed publicly, with topics like gun control and the concept of arming teachers emerging in the discussion. If Wednesday’s Students Stand Up Town Hall from CNN is any indication, it’s a subject that inspires strong opinions from Americans, although your mileage on what qualifies as a satisfactory answer from an elected official may vary.