PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – The father of one of the students killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School filed a lawsuit Monday accusing numerous people and entities of enabling the confessed killer, Nikolas Cruz.
But Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was shot to death inside the school, laid specific blame for the shooting at the feet of Broward Sheriff’s School Resource Officer Scot Peterson.
“He could’ve saved everybody on that 3rd floor that day,” Pollack told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Surveillance video showed Peterson rushing to the Freshman building, where he believed the shots were coming from, he told a dispatcher. However, the video shows Peterson taking up a position at a building a short distance away and remaining there.
“He let my daughter get stalked and shot 9 times on the 3rd floor,” Pollack said.
In the lawsuit, Pollack’s lawyers say Peterson hid and failed to confront the threat, endangering the lives of everyone in the building. Specifically, the suit says:
“Scot Peterson is a coward.”
“…Peterson positioned himself out of harm’s way…”
“Scot Peterson cowered in his safe location…the entire time Nikolas Cruz trained his AR-15 and rained bullets upon the teachers and students…”
In the moments after the shooting began on Valentine’s Day, Peterson ordered the school locked down.
“Broward, do not approach the 12 or 1300 building. Stay at least 500 feet away at this point,” Peterson said on the BSO radio.
During that time, Pollack’s suit claims, Cruz made his way to the 3rd floor, shot Meadow Pollack several times and then as she moved to cover a fellow student to try and protect her, Cruz shot her again and again killing Meadow and the other student.
The lawsuit says “Scot Peterson waited and listened to the din of screams of teachers and students, many of whom were dead or dying, and the blasts of Nikolas Cruz’s repeated gunfire.”
Pollack wants Peterson to pay.
“I’m not the type of guy I’m just gonna lay down and this guy’s gonna collect his pension and go off into the sunset,” he said. “That’s not gonna happen.”
The suit also names several defendants; Nikolas Cruz, Scot Peterson, the estate of Lynda Cruz, James and Kimberly Snead, Henderson Behavioral Health, Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health and South County Mental Health Center.
One part of the lawsuit specifically details a police report filed in February of 2016 in which Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day at the Parkland school, posted a photo of himself with guns on Instagram stating that he wanted “to shoot up the school.”
After a deputy responded to Cruz’s home and found that the teen had knives and a BB gun, but only passed the information along to Peterson.
Ultimately, the suit alleges, Cruz continued to shoot Pollack in the back, the bullets killing both students, before shooting Pollack again, this time in the head, as “a final act or barbarity,” per the suit.
It alleges that the students and teachers were put in a gun-free zone in which they were entrusting Peterson, as the School Resource Officer, to protect them from such things as this deadly shooting.
Pollack believes Peterson’s inaction led to unbearable pain and suffering.
“When this Peterson moves wherever he’s gonna move in the rest of the country, wherever he’s gonna settle down, anywhere he goes his face is gonna be like a public figure. They’re gonna say, ‘That’s the guy that let those children and teachers get murdered on the 3rd floor.’ Thats why I’m doing this.
Additionally, Pollack said he believes Peterson is responsible for many of the actions of law enforcement officers that day. He believes that because Peterson locked down the school and told officers to stay clear of the building that prevented some officers and deputies from going inside. That of course has led to much controversy that Andrew Pollack believes is due — in large part — to Scot Peterson.