Trial Underway for Parkland Deputy Who Never Entered Building as School Shooter Massacred 17
Prosecutors showed jurors video of Scott Peterson on Feb. 14, 2018 as the shooter stormed the school, saying: "The defendant will never leave that alcove while the shooter is in the building."
The heartbreaking images of students fleeing from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are seared into the memory of most Americans. That is where, on Feb. 14, 2018, one of the deadliest school shootings ever took place.
In the end, 17 were killed and 17 were injured in the horrific massacre perpetrated by a former student at the Florida school.
Now, the trial is underway for 60-year-old Scott Peterson, the school officer who failed to confront the shooter that day.
Prosecutors showed jurors video of Peterson on that day as the shooter stormed the school, saying: "The defendant will never leave that alcove while the shooter is in the building."
They went on to say in their opening remarks that "it was an unspeakable, horrible day."
Peterson's attorneys say he is nothing more than a scapegoat, and that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is using the deputy to draw attention away from the shortcomings of his own officers.
"Our client is not a criminal, and the evidence will prove he did not commit any criminal offenses," Peterson's lawyers said in their opening statement.
The defense's opening remarks drew multiple objections from prosecutors in a courtroom that was already tense and on edge as many of the victims' families were in attendance.
"Most of them do blame Scott Peterson for not doing what he could to save their children that day," Brandon Beyer of WSVN-TV tells Inside Edition.
Beyer will be in the courtroom for the proceedings over the next few weeks.
Peterson is charged with child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury. The charges are based largely on surveillance video that shows Peterson, who was the only other person at the school with a gun, not entering the building.
Then, when police and SWAT teams arrived on the scene, they said that they could not reach Peterson.
"His boss, the sheriff of that county, came out and called him a coward something that resonated throughout the country across the world," says Court TV's Julia Janaé. "He was given the title or the moniker, the coward of Broward. That's happened in Broward County."
The trial is unfolding in the very same courtroom where the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was sentenced to life without parole.
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