The father of one of the 17 people killed in the Florida high school massacre is suing the disgraced security resource officer who heard the gunfire but remained outside during the attack.
“He let my daughter get shot nine times at point-blank range,” Meadow Pollack’s dad, Andrew, told the Miami Herald about former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson.
“He had the opportunity to go in and instead, let all those people get murdered,” he added.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of using an AR-15 assault rifle to gun down Meadow and 16 others on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The grieving dad has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in Broward County, naming Cruz; the estate of Cruz’s mother, who died in November; and James and Kimberly Snead, who took Cruz in after his mother’s death.
It also names three behavioral and mental health facilities that had evaluated Cruz before the Feb. 14 shooting.
Peterson, 54, was suspended with pay and then resigned and retired on Feb. 23, when surveillance video showed he never entered the building when bullets flew.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has condemned Peterson’s actions, saying he should have gone inside.
“Peterson is my main target,” Pollack said. “He could have stopped it. Could have saved my kid. Nobody should be able to not do their job, receive a pension and ride off into the sunset.”
According to the lawsuit, Cruz led a troubled life and “suffered from severe mental illness and was prone to violence.”
In 2016, Cruz posted a photo of himself on Instagram with guns, saying he wanted to shoot up the school, the Miami Herald reported.
Shortly after, a Broward deputy responded to his home and discovered he had knives and a BB gun — information that was later turned over to Peterson, according to the complaint.
Also given to Peterson were reports of Cruz cutting himself, swallowing gasoline to commit suicide, drawing a swastika on his book bag and telling a friend he wanted to buy a gun for hunting, according to the complaint.
When Cruz arrived at the high school on the day of the massacre, a “pusillanimous” Peterson “cowered in a safe location between two concrete walls” as the gunman “rained bullets upon the teachers and students,” according to the suit.
Peterson’s attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In February, Peterson released a statement through his lawyer.
“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,” according to the statement.
Pollack said he wants to let people know that the former 33-year law enforcement officer is a “coward.”
“My daughter died crawling by a doorway — shielding a classmate who also ended up dying — waiting for someone to come help her,” he said. “Help never came.”
With Post wires
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