Gov. Rick Scott says he can not deny a monthly pension of $8,700 to the former Broward sheriff's deputy who failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High during the February 14 mass shooting.
Peterson hasn't been criminally charged in relation to the shooting, but his pension benefits could possibly be forefeited, according to the Sentinel, pending a Florida state inquiry into how police responded to the shooting. After getting to the entrance, Peterson waited outside the door for unknown reasons, for four minutes while the massacre happened, Miami Herald reported.
Either way, the parents of the 15 students killed that day will wonder for the rest of their lives if their child may still be alive today had Peterson chose to act differently.
It alleges that during the shooting, which took place from 2:22 p.m. until 2:27 p.m., Peterson never attempted to go inside Building 12, "never once attempting to save a life, never once attempting to fire a single bullet at Cruz".
Peterson has maintained he thought the shots were being fired from outside the school but Sheriff Scott Israel said the deputy should have entered the building immediately. "Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue".
"Rather, Peterson listened to the din of screams of teachers and students, many of whom were dead or dying, and the blasts of Nikolas Cruz' repeated gunfire", the lawsuit states.More news: Hamilton wants to win title with 'perfect' weekends
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"He hid while my daughter and 16 others were slaughtered!"
Neither the sheriff's office nor the states attorney have indicated they would bring about any charges that would allow them to withhold Peterson's pension, according to a letter from the Department of Management Services in March. His pension is based on his years of service and the average of the five highest-paid years.
This week, Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was killed in the massacre, announced his candidacy for the school's board.
Peterson, 55, started working for the sheriff's office in 1985.
"The department will continue to monitor the ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and will continue to follow the law", Ashley said.