The former school resource officer criticized for his response to the Parkland school massacre is receiving more than $8,700 a month in state pension, Florida Department of Management Services spokeswoman Nina Ashley said Wednesday.
There are no charges or circumstances that would affect Scot Peterson’s pension, according to a March 28 department letter requesting local officials submit information pertaining to Peterson’s retirement benefits. However, two investigations into the police response to the February 14 shooting remain ongoing.
In the days after the massacre that left 17 students and staff members dead, Peterson came under fire for what some described as inaction once bullets began to fly through the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Senior Brandon Huff claimed he saw Peterson standing outside behind a stairwell wall, gun drawn “just pointing it at the building” as shots erupted from inside the school.
“He’s wearing a bulletproof vest … while school security guards, coaches pretty much, were running in shielding kids,” he said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told CNN that video from outside the school corroborated Huff’s account. The sheriff said he was disgusted and demoralized by what he saw, while President Donald Trump called Peterson a coward, and said he “didn’t have the courage” to confront the shooter and “doesn’t love the children.”
Peterson responded, saying through his attorney that he thought the shots emanated from outside of the school, near the football field, and he responded in accordance with his training.
“The allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” a statement from his lawyer said.