Live

Watch CBSN Live

Parkland sheriff's deputy who failed to confront shooter breaks his silence

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The former sheriff's deputy who has been widely criticized for his actions during a mass shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school is breaking his silence during a two-part interview on NBC's "Today Show." The segment will air Tuesday morning. 

NBC says in a news release that anchor Savannah Guthrie asked Scot Peterson if he would acknowledge that "he missed it" by standing outside the building as a gunman fired an AR-15 assault-style rifle into classrooms. Peterson tells Guthrie he "lives with that."

Peterson retired from the Broward Sheriff's Office after surveillance video showed him outside the building where the shooting occurred. Peterson radioed the sheriff's office with a warning.

Florida deputy defends decision to stay outside amid school shooting

"Be advised we have possible -- could be firecrackers -- I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired," he said.

Seconds later, he was seen running before he stopped to radio dispatch another time.

"Make sure we get some units over here, I need to shut down Stoneman Douglas," Peterson said.

But during the shooting, Peterson never entered the building.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel condemned Peterson's actions, saying he should have gone inside.

Last month, the father of Meadow Pollack, a student killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, filed a lawsuit accusing several people of enabling the killer. But he also placed blame at Peterson. In the lawsuit, Andrew Pollack's lawyers say Peterson, who was armed, failed to confront the threat.

"Scot Peterson is a coward," the lawsuit says.

During the interview with NBC, Peterson calls the students "my kids" and says that knowing what he now knows, he would have "been in that building in a heartbeat."

View CBS News In