Peterson is facing eleven charges, including child neglect and culpable negligence, for allegedly failing to act to stop the gunman during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Former Parkland school resource officer Scot Peterson’s defense rested on Friday in his trial without calling him to the stand
One additional count of perjury has been brought against him for allegedly lying about the number of gunshots he heard at the scene. The former officer pleaded not guilty to all charges.
During the trial, Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Arthur Perry testified that he arrived at the school but remained outside the building where the shooting occurred. Perry claimed that he did not learn about the details of the shooting until hours later, as there was a lack of communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies at the scene.
Peterson maintains that he did not enter the building due to the uncertainty of the gunshots’ origin. His defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh, argued that Peterson did his best to protect the students in the chaotic and confusing situation.
No victims were present in court on the final day of testimony
Prosecutors accused Peterson of failing to follow his active-shooter training and staying outside the building while the shooting unfolded, resulting in 17 deaths and 17 injuries. Surveillance footage reportedly shows Peterson not entering the building during the attack.
The trial has highlighted the expectations placed on officers responding to active shooters, particularly in the context of increasing gun violence incidents across the country. Peterson retired amidst criticism following the incident but has consistently maintained his innocence. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, pleaded guilty to multiple charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Closing arguments for Peterson’s trial are scheduled for Monday morning.