UPDATED with video: The armed “resource” officer who was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the school shooting in February, told Today show’s Savannah Guthrie that he stayed outside while kids were being gunned down because “I didn’t get it right.”
“But it wasn’t because of some, ‘oh, I don’t wanna go into that building, oh, I don’t wanna face somebody in there.’ It wasn’t like that at all,” Scot Peterson insisted.
He told Guthrie he received no information from his dispatcher about a shooting “inside the building – or even at the school.”
But, in an interview published in Washington Post hours before NBC News released first clip of its interview on Monday’s NBC Nightly News, Peterson said he stayed outside during the shooting so as not to expose himself to the shooter. He told WaPo he was not certain where the bullets were coming from.
Back in February, CNN reported that when Coral Springs police officers arrived at the school on Valentine’s Day, they saw not only school resource officer Scot Peterson, but three more Broward police officers with pistols drawn but taking cover behind their cars as a gunman was inside killing 17 students and staff.
When those Coral Springs police entered the building, the four original Broward officers, including Peterson, did not join them, CNN reported, citing sources.
One day before CNN’s report, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had held a press conference at which he acknowledged Peterson never entered the building where the slaying occurred.
Peterson’s interview with Guthrie aired, in part, on this morning’s Today; the rest of the interview will air tomorrow on the morning show. NBC News is calling it an “exclusive” which is to say when they got their at-bat with Peterson, they had him to themselves.