Deputy Who Did Not Confront Parkland Gunman Claims ‘No Legal Duty’ to Act

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2015, file frame from video from Broward County Public Schools, sc
Broward County Public Schools via AP, File

The deputy who stood by while the February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was taking place asked a judge to rule that he had “no legal duty” to protect the students.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Scot Peterson’s attorney, Michael Piper, told Judge Englander Henning, “We want to say he had an obligation, but the law isn’t that. From a legal standpoint, there was no duty.”

Henning rejected Piper’s argument, opining that Peterson had an “obligation to act reasonably” in response to the shooting.

The suit against Peterson is a wrongful death suit brought by Andrew Pollack, father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.

Joel Perwin, Pollack’s attorney, expressed astonishment that Peterson is trying to get the suit dismissed. Perwin said, “It is inconceivable that anyone could advance the proposition that Scot Peterson had no duty to these people. That is an absurd proposition. … This was an abdication of responsibility when this [shooting] happened, and it is an abdication of responsibility now in this courtroom.”

Breitbart News reported that just weeks after the Parkland shooting, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that Peterson had radioed that he was hearing gunshots during the attack. Peterson was standing outside the building listening to the sound of gunfire when he radioed, “Shots fired.” reports that Peterson arrived on scene outside Building 12 shortly after the attack had begun, then allegedly stood outside for another five minutes as the attack concluded.

On April 30, 2018, Breitbart News reported that Andrew Pollack filed the wrongful death suit against Peterson. After filing the suit, Pollack tweeted:

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.