(WFLA/NBC) – The school resource officer who did not go inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the tragic Valentine’s Day shooting is breaking his silence.
On the “Today Show” on News Channel 8, Scot Peterson sits down exclusively with anchor Savannah Guthrie for his first TV interview.
We’re hearing his side of the story, about why he didn’t go into the school, as 17 people were gunned down inside even though he was armed.
“I’m sorry,” he says to Guthrie.
More than three months after Scot Peterson was forced to retire when he failed to confront the Parkland school massacre gunman, Nikolas Cruz, he’s telling the victims’ families he is sorry. He wants them, and the world, to hear his side of the story about why he says he didn’t enter the building.
The 33-year law enforcement vet claims it wasn’t fear that kept him from rushing into Stoneman Douglas Cruz walked the halls with an AR-15. He claims it was chaos, miscommunication and his assumption that the shots were being fired outside by a sniper.
Peterson says operators at two different 911 centers caused delays in information, slowing his response.
Peterson says he hasn’t stopped thinking about that day.
“This will haunt me the rest of my life. It will. You know, those were my kids,” he tells Guthrie.
Although he feels that way, Fred Guttenburg, whose daughter Jamie was among the victims tweeted, “Scot Peterson, you were not a victim. They are not “your kids” as you say.”
Meanwhile, many of the high school students, some who graduated over the weekend, say they’re less interested in reviewing what could have been. They are now focused on getting upwards of 4 million teenagers registered to vote.
The Today Show begins at 7 a.m. on News Channel 8.