JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Surveillance video that shows the initial law enforcement response to last month's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was released Thursday.
Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson on Monday ordered the Broward Sheriff's Office to release the video, ruling that public interest trumped concerns that the disclosure could compromise school security.
A number of news organizations, including The New York Times and The Miami Herald, sued for the footage's release after the Sheriff's Office and school district resisted requests to make the video public.
At first, the video appears to show school resource deputy Scot Peterson pacing down an outdoor hallway, talking on his radio. Later, he can be seen standing idly near the freshman building's entrance.
"The video speaks for itself. His (Peterson's) actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on Feb. 21," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Israel said Peterson never entered the building to confront the shooter and put a stop to the bloodshed. Criticism of that decision has been widespread, from the president to fellow law enforcement.
Peterson resigned rather than face discipline over his response to the shooting, the sheriff previously reported. The former deputy's attorney has insisted his client's actions were consistent with his training.
It took authorities 11-plus minutes to enter the freshman building after a gunman first opened fire during a Feb. 14 rampage that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others, according to Sheriff's Office records.
Prosecutors and attorneys for the school district fought to block the video's release, saying it could undermine the active investigation and expose the school's security system. Levenson was not swayed.
Suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz, a former student, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder. He apparently plans to stand mute in the case.