PARKLAND, Fla. - Parents in Parkland are fuming over an interview with the Stoneman Douglas High School school resource officer on duty on Feb. 14. Many blame SRO Scot Peterson for not protecting their children.
"We have to live with his decision that he made every single day," said Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the shooting. "We have to live with that and the other 16 families too."
“I’d rather Peterson admit to his fear and say he messed up than to dance around the whole situation," Lisa Valko said.
While surveillance footage shows Peterson standing outside the 1200 building while the shooting was going on, Valko's son was on the first floor of the building texting her.
"He said, 'Mom, I hear the shots. Mom the shots are coming closer,'" she said. "I looked at my phone. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Valko's son was not injured in the shooting.
Peterson has been called the "Coward of Broward" for not entering the building to take down the shooter. In the interview, he explained to "Today'" show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie what went on in his mind at the time of the attack.
“I never thought even for a moment of being scared or a coward because I was just doing things the whole time," he said. "It never entered my mind.”
Peterson also told Today that communications with dispatch were down, so he didn’t have any official intel. He thought he heard gunshots outside and assumed a sniper was shooting out a window, not inside the building.
“It haunts me and knowing that I didn’t know in those split few minutes," he said. "It’s easy to sit there for people to go oh he should’ve known that that person was up there. It wasn’t that easy. I’m never going to get over this.”
No matter the circumstances, Valko feels Peterson let down the students.
"You are a coward," she said. "You didn't go in that building. And you could've saved those kids."