Surveillance Footage From Parkland High School Shows Police Standing Outside During Shooting

Matias J. Ocner  Miami Herald via AP

The surveillance video shows Scot Peterson, whom President Donald Trump dubbed a "coward" in the attack's aftermath, arriving at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but standing outside rather than entering.

Sheriff Scott Israel blasted Peterson eight days after the shooting, saying Peterson should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer".

"His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on February 21", Israel, the Broward County sheriff, said in a statement that accompanied the video release.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before the start of a CNN town hall meeting in Sunrise, Florida, Feb. 21, 2018. "Mr. Peterson took up a tactical position between the 700-800 buildings corridor/corner".

Watch an extended video below.

In a statement, the Broward Sheriff's Office said it welcomed a Florida judge's decision to release the footage but said it was prohibited from discussing any details until the investigation had concluded.

A minute later, Peterson and two others are seen on a golf cart driving through campus.

Cruz is accused of carrying out the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that also wounded 17 other people.

During most of the six minutes of shooting, the camera's view of Peterson is blocked by a light pole but parts of him occasionally appear. It shows him and a staff member rushing toward the building in a golf cart.

The video's release was brought about by a lawsuit from media outlets arguing that the public ought to "be given the first-hand opportunity to review and evaluate the video and the actions of its government officials". In a statement issued through his lawyer shortly after his retirement, he said he thought the shots were being fired from outside the school. But a detailed timeline released last week by the sheriff's office, based on radio dispatches and surveillance footage, showed Peterson said over police radio that the blasts were coming from "inside".

The video released Thursday shows Peterson going toward the high school building while a gunman massacred 17 students and staff members, but stayed outside with his handgun drawn.

It begins shortly after gunfire erupted, with Peterson and civilian security monitor Kelvin Greenleaf walking with goal outside an administration building, clearly alarmed by sounds.

Peterson was armed but stayed outside the building, authorities said. Because he refused to announce his plea, a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf on each of the 34 counts he faces - mainly to keep the legal process moving.

Cruz's state-assigned public defender Melissa McNeil added that Cruz would plead guilty if prosecutors waived the death penalty as a potential punishment.

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