'It was my job, and I didn't find him': Parkland officer who failed to confront school shooter says he would have gone in if he knew where the shooter was

  • Scot Peterson, the armed officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, talked to the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie about his failure to stop the shooter in the school massacre last month.
  • Peterson expressed his regret in not stopping the shooter, saying “I’m human.”

Scot Peterson, the armed officer who failed to confront the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February, expressed his regret that he did nothing in an interview with the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie.

Guthrie asked if Peterson would acknowledge that by failing to enter the school while a shooter was active he missed an “important moment” to save lives. Peterson replied, “I live with that, how could I not?”

Peterson said that if he knew what he knew today, he “would have been in that building in a heartbeat.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said that after the shooting Peterson was at the school but stood outside for four minutes while 17 people were killed during a seven-minute shooting spree.

Surveillance footage described by the sheriff showed that Peterson was in position and armed but never entered the building, which the sheriff said made him “sick to his stomach.”

Peterson said on “Today” that what he didn’t know at the time stopped him from acting.

“I’m human,” he said. “In a perfect world I would have said, ‘Oh there’s a shooter in there, let me go to the third floor, find this person.'”

Peterson referred to the students multiple times as “my kids.”

This is one of Peterson’s first responses to critics, including President Donald Trump who called him a “coward,” since the shooting, which sparked a major gun-control movement that has been prominently lead by several survivors of the school shooting.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Peterson described his confusion during the shooting as he stood outside the school, which he said “was all so fast, I couldn’t piece it together.”

“I was trying to figure it out,” Peterson said. “I was scanning for the shooter, looking over the windows, the footpath, the rooftop. I thought maybe it was a sniper like in Las Vegas. I just didn’t know.”

Despite not knowing what was happening at the time, Peterson immediately shouldered the blame for the shooter’s success that day, telling his girlfriend after the shooting he didn’t make any contact with the shooter.

“I couldn’t get him,” he said, according to the interview. “It was my job, and I didn’t find him.”

The full interview will be aired Tuesday morning.

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