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Attorney: Deputy had no obligation to confront school gunman

July 21, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Florida sheriff’s deputy want a judge to dismiss felony charges stemming from his failure to enter a school building while a gunman carried out a massacre.

Scot Peterson’s attorneys say prosecutors stretched the laws “beyond their breaking points” when they charged him last month with child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury for his actions during and after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

Attorney Joseph DiRuzzo III wrote in filings filed last week that while Peterson was the deputy assigned to the school, he was not the students’ legal caregiver. He also wrote the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s policy for confronting active shooters said deputies “may” enter a building, not “shall.”

Prosecutors have not responded in court.

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