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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced Tuesday the arrest of the school resource officer who was on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day a gunman killed 17 people.
FDLE said former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Peterson, 56, was arrested and charged with seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury.
In a news release, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said FDLE's 15-month investigation found Peterson "did absolutely nothing" to stop the shooting.
“There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives,” Swearingen said.
FDLE said Peterson refused to investigate the source of gunshots, retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot, and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed earlier this year after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Sheriff Scott Israel, said Peterson's "failure to act... clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges."
"It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
FDLE said investigators interviewed 184 witnesses and reviewed hours of video surveillance to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting.
Peterson was arrested at the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters and booked into the Broward County Main Jail. The Broward State Attorney’s Office, 17th Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.