Armed deputy did 'poor job' not confronting Florida school gunman: Trump

File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Washington, DC, USA Feb 23, 2018, 04.29 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump said on Friday (February 23) the armed deputy assigned to the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead did a "poor job" not confronting the gunman.

"He was there for five minutes, for five minutes. That was during the entire shooting. He heard it right at the beginning. So he certainly did a poor job. But that's a case where somebody was outside, they're trained, but they didn't react properly under pressure or they were a coward. It was a real shock to the police department," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.

Deputy Scot Peterson resigned after an internal investigation showed he failed to enter the school to confront the gunman during the attack, according to the county sheriff.

Peterson, who was on duty and in uniform as the resource officer posted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was the only law enforcement officer present on February 14 when the rampage started.

Peterson's actions were caught on video during the massacre, which ranks as the second-deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. public school, carried out by a lone gunman wielding a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, was later arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the assault.

"This has been going on for a long time, many years, decades, and we're going to get it fixed. But the only way you're going to get it fixed is you have to have a certain degree of offensive power within the school. It can't only be defense. You have to have protection within the schools. And we're going to work it out," Trump said.


 

Story highlights

Deputy Scot Peterson resigned after an internal investigation showed he failed to enter the school to confront the gunman during the attack, according to the county sheriff