Peterson was caught on surveillance footage hiding outside the building during the shooting. He claimed he thought the shots were coming from outside and took a “tactical position,” an explanation contradicted by one of the first radio calls he made, in which he said, “Possible shots fired. 1200 building.” He also failed to call a Code Red, which was called for the first time by someone else minutes later.
“My law enforcement actions during the horrific school shooting on February 14, 2018, were consistent with my training and based on my ‘real-time intelligence’ on the scene,” he wrote to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. “I was not given any information whatsoever by BSO communications regarding the location or description of the shooter(s) . . . or that there were any victim(s) inside the 1200 building.”
Peterson blamed Broward County sheriff Scott Israel for the criticism directed at him, saying Israel “made me his ‘personal and political scapegoat’ to take the ‘onus’ off of himself and place the blame on me for the massacre at my school.”