4 deputies fired for "neglect of duty" in connection with Parkland school shooting, sheriff says

Posted at 8:46 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 18:15:10-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced Wednesday the completion of an internal affairs investigation into the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Parkland school shooting

Sheriff Tony said seven deputies were the subject of the internal affairs investigation, and four of them were fired:

  • Deputy Scot Peterson
  • Sgt. Brian Miller
  • Deputy Edward Eason
  • Deputy Josh Stambaugh

No disciplinary action was taking against the other three deputies. Sheriff Tony said Eason and Stambaugh were fired Tuesday. Peterson and Miller were previously fired in the case.

"We spent a lot of time looking at our policy and looking at the actions, looking at the statements provided by the deputies involved," Sheriff Tony said at a news conference. "After we take that totality of facts, it became clear to me and our command staff that this was neglect of duty. And it was one of the most severe consequences. We lost 17 people."

Peterson, who was criticized for refusing to enter the school during the shooting, is now facing charges of child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury in connection with the tragedy. He's now out of jail on bond.

"As we conclude this final chapter for this organization, we are going to continue to move forward with fixing the issues that exist in the agency as related to training," said Sheriff Tony. "We’re ahead of the curve with that. We're excelling."

A former MSD student, 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder for carrying out the massacre. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The shooting on Feb. 14, 2018 took the lives of 14 students and three staff members.

The victims were:

  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 15, freshman
  • Martin Duque, 14, freshman
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17, senior
  • Jaime Guttenburg, 14, freshman
  • Luke Hoyer, 15, freshman
  • Cara Loughran, 14, freshman
  • Gina Montalto, 14, freshman
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17, senior
  • Alaina Petty, 14, freshman
  • Meadow Pollack, 18, senior
  • Helena Ramsey, 17, junior
  • Alex Schachter, 14, freshman
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16, senior
  • Peter Wang, 15, freshman
  • Scott Beigel, 35, geography teacher
  • Aaron Feis, 37, assistant football coach and security guard
  • Chris Hixon, 49, athletic director

"It's been a long time coming about accountability," said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the shooting. "That word has haunted me from a year ago, over a year ago, when my daughter was murdered. The people that failed need to be held accountable."

Pollack, who spoke to WPTV over the phone on Wednesday, said these punishments wouldn't have been possible had Gov. Ron DeSantis not replaced former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel with Sheriff Tony.

"I know that with Sheriff Tony in charge he was gonna see that everything was done properly and the people that didn't act would be held accountable," said Pollack. "And I stand by the sheriff's investigation and I know they did a thorough one."