Parkland, Fla., video shows deputy waiting outside school as shooting unfolds inside

Authorities Thursday released surveillance video from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.


Surveillance footage released by Florida authorities Thursday appears to show a Broward County deputy waiting outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for several minutes, speaking on his radio, as a mass shooting unfolded inside.

The video, released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on orders from a judge, sheds further light on officials’ allegations that Deputy Scot Peterson failed to charge into the Parkland, Fla., school as a gunman killed 17 people.

Media organizations had requested release of the footage as public controversy grew around law enforcement’s failure to prevent the massacre — despite warnings about alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz’s behavior — in addition to its slow initial response when the shooting began.


“The video speaks for itself,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, adding that it “welcomed” the release of the video. “His [Peterson’s] actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21. After being suspended without pay, Peterson chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face possible termination.”

The 27-minute video shows exterior views of the school captured by multiple surveillance cameras. The footage does not appear to show the gunman or any graphic details related to the shooting, which may have been recorded by other cameras but was not released.

Officials believe Cruz, 19, arrived at the school in an Uber ride-service car at 2:19 p.m., entered a building around 2:21 p.m. and starting firing 15 seconds later. (He later allegedly abandoned his weapon and posed as a fleeing student before he was arrested after leaving the scene.)

The video released Thursday starts at 2:22 p.m., which is the same time someone triggered a fire alarm on campus. The footage appears to show Peterson walking calmly at first along with a man who appears to be a school staff member, checking a door at a school building.

A short time later, Peterson, who is talking into his shoulder dispatch radio, and the man, begin running, hop onto a golf cart and speed toward another building.

At 2:23 p.m., Peterson and the man appear to be running urgently toward a school building, but Peterson doesn’t enter. He can be seen with his hand on his shoulder, apparently speaking into his radio. Between 2:23 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., a uniformed figure can be seen remaining in place outside the building, appearing to take cover.

Officials believe Cruz fired his last shots around 2:27 p.m., which is around when a Coral Springs police officer arrived at the scene, soon to be followed by many others. Around 2:31 p.m., the lights on an emergency vehicle can be seen driving through the school parking lot.

Peterson had initially claimed that he thought the shooter was outside the school, not inside. But according to previously released dispatch audio, Peterson warned other officers that the shooter was “inside” the school and to “stay at least 500 feet away at this point.”

This story will be updated.


10:50 a.m.: This article has been updated throughout with details from the video, a sheriff’s statement and background information.

This article was originally posted at 8:45 a.m.