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Was he a coward?
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Contributors to this thread:
spike78 04-Jun-18
Scrappy 04-Jun-18
LINK 04-Jun-18
JTV 04-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 04-Jun-18
buff 04-Jun-18
'Ike' 04-Jun-18
Solo 04-Jun-18
K Cummings 04-Jun-18
Solo 04-Jun-18
Salagi 04-Jun-18
Hackbow 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
elkmtngear 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
Pete In Fairbanks 05-Jun-18
spike78 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
Salagi 05-Jun-18
LINK 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
slade 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
'Ike' (Phone) 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
slade 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 05-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 05-Jun-18
slade 05-Jun-18
sleepyhunter 05-Jun-18
K Cummings 06-Jun-18
Amoebus 06-Jun-18
Mint 06-Jun-18
K Cummings 06-Jun-18
K Cummings 06-Jun-18
From: spike78
04-Jun-18

spike78's Link
Story from Parkland resource officer in his own words. After reading it it seems to make more sense now. Thoughts?

From: Scrappy
04-Jun-18
He never made an attempt to engage the shooter equals coward.

From: LINK
04-Jun-18
Knowing where the sound of a shot is, coming from inside a building, has to be easier than pinpointing a bugle. It would seam that it would be easy to tell where the shot was coming from. Easy to Monday morning quarterback though.

From: JTV
04-Jun-18
reads like a cover his ass piece... coward only covers a portion what he is .....

From: sleepyhunter
04-Jun-18
The shooter at the Sutherland Springs Tx. Church shooting was shot and killed. The shooter at the Santa Fe, Tx High School shooting was subdued and stopped. This security officer did nothing. It's not up to me to judge, he has to live with his decision.

From: buff
04-Jun-18
Although I do believe there is some cover your ass, I have to say, I think it would be hard to tell where shots were coming from, sound bouncing off building walls and such. I know I have been in the “area” of shots fired in the city a couple times, it’s hard to tell where it’s coming from. This is the reason we need teachers armed, unless you have a armed guard in about every hallway, one guard per building is not enough.

From: 'Ike'
04-Jun-18
I don't know, always been trained to go after the threat...That being said, after years of being around gun fire, you pretty much know where it's coming from...I wasn't in his shoes, so I'm kind of with Sleepy...He's got to live with it!

From: Solo
04-Jun-18
Pinpointing the origin of very short duration muffled shots fired from within a multi-walled building complex while in a hallway ain't even close to zeroing in on the origin of a long duration sound like an elk bugle in the mountains. Come on. Get real, Link. Sheesh....

Y'all can call him a coward all you want to. But I'll continue to reserve any condemnation for the guy. Hey, if I ever do decide to condemn him, I'll openly challenge him to some hand-to-hand combat. If he runs away then, I'll know for sure he's a coward.... Howz that sound? .... :^p

From: K Cummings
04-Jun-18
Here we go with the typical CF armchair quarterback bravado.

It's real easy to call someone else a "coward" when we have absolutely no idea what it was like to be in that particular situation. I read his account and it sounds totally plausible to me. Is it true? No idea. Is it false? No idea. Is it plausible that it happened exactly the way he described? Yes.

There is a reason for the term "fog of war" and there are a lot of steps on the ladder between hero and coward.

KPC

From: Solo
04-Jun-18
x More..... Good one, Kevin.....

From: Salagi
04-Jun-18
In a hallway with concrete construction as is common in school buildings, it is hard to tell exactly where the shots originate. Last summer during an active killer training, I ran down one wing of the building while the "shooter" was in another wing. Honestly I moved too fast from the room I came out of down the hall I thought the shots were coming from. It took 3 or 4 more shots for me to realize my mistake, I was checking rooms thinking the muffling of the sounds was due to him being in a room. However, he didn't even try to enter the building they seemed to suspect the shots were coming from. I don't know as he was a coward, but he froze and failed to act as he was supposed to. Whether he could have saved any lives or not by entering the building we will never know, but we know he didn't try.

From: Hackbow
05-Jun-18
"A Coral Springs SWAT team arrived almost five minutes later to clear the building, and Peterson left his position against the wall and ran to give them his set of master keys to the classroom doors."

"...and Peterson left his position against the wall..."

I wasn't there. I have never been in any situation that is even in the same universe as being similar. However, in a situation where one is charged with and has accepted the responsibility to protect children, taking a "position against the wall" seems more like an act self preservation than that of a 'sheepdog'.

Salagi said it succinctly; "Whether he could have saved any lives or not by entering the building we will never know, but we know he didn't try."

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
"Coward," by definition means a lack of courage.

Confusion, doing the wrong thing, or even freezing are not necessarily the same thing as being a "coward."

Without knowing his mindset, we simply cannot make an accurate determination. In retrospect, we know he didn't to the right thing. He might have been confused, he might have just frozen, or he might well have made the conscious decision to just not risk his own skin. We know the outcome but we don't know the facts regarding why.

I am every bit as concerned about a leo that jumps to conclusions about guilt, innocence, motive and intent before all facts are known, as I am about a leo that lacks the courage to carry out his/her duties. In my opinion, both are very dangerous to those that they serve.

KPC

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
""We know the outcome but we don't know the facts regarding why.""

What other facts need to be known? There was a shooter inside a building killing people. He was the armed Security officer. He knew shots were being fired.

From: elkmtngear
05-Jun-18
Possibly not a coward, but certainly not a "hero" .

His unarmed buddy that was gunned down when he ran toward the shooter, may have saved a few kids. There's your hero.

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
"What other facts need to be known? There was a shooter inside a building killing people. He was the armed Security officer. He knew shots were being fired."

Are you really asking that?

After reading his account, first of all, he didn't know at first they were gun shots. They were reported to him as possible firecrackers (a situation that has happened before). When it was determined they were gun shots, he could not determine where the shots were coming from. If that is true (which none of us know), would you suggest he just charge into "a building" hoping its the right one?

If he entered the wrong building, which could have been a real possibility based on what he thought he was hearing, would he then be a "coward" and an idiot? Or would the armchair quarterbacks here on the CF just assume he was running into the wrong building so he could hide from danger?

He may well be a coward. I don't know that. The point is neither does anyone here. Period.

KPC

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
""Are you really asking that?""

It's a legit question. Those are facts deal with it. You're the main armchair QB questioning everyone's opinion. Like I said earlier he has to live with his decision. I'm not a LEO but Big Bear is. I've never served in the Military others here have. I'll favor their opinion on this matter. It's not my place to call a LEO a coward when I'm not a LEO myself. I've never been in combat either the Military people have. I think it's safe to say they would know a coward when they see one.

05-Jun-18
His excuse is that he could not tell where the shots were coming from, from his position.

But instead of CHANGING HIS POSITION, he stayed in the place where he already admitted he could not determine the origin of the shots.

If it had been me, I think I would have gone somewhere else on campus (perhaps inside the buildings) to see if I could better determine where the shooting was occurring.

He did not. Clearly he just remained in place and "cowered."

Pete

From: spike78
05-Jun-18
One thing for sure is that this will haunt him for the rest of his life. He probably wants to put a bullet in his head so if he was a coward then he is paying the price now.

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18
Coward.

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
""One thing for sure is that this will haunt him for the rest of his life.""

Yes sir. He has a heavy burden to carry the rest of his life.

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
"He immediately retired because he knows he was wrong. If he truly believed he acted appropriately.... he would not have resigned.

With all due respect BB, you know nothing of the sort.

I do have to admit, if I was a defense attorney, I would dearly love to cross examine someone with evidence like that.

"It's a legit question. Those are facts deal with it. You're the main armchair QB questioning everyone's opinion."

I know you don't like hearing this, but that's called critical thinking sleepy, you should try it sometime. In case you hadn't noticed, I even question my own opinions on the matter. I consider all the facts and work toward a conclusion. Others decide on a conclusion and look for facts to support that conclusion.

And yes, in my opinion law enforcement officers should engage in the former and avoid the latter.

KPC

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
""I know you don't like hearing this, but that's called critical thinking sleepy, you should try it sometime.""

KPC, If anything you're a critical thinking fail. I also believe it's safe to conclude you should never be a security guard. From reading your posts. I sure you would run at the first sign of trouble. Well maybe not run, more bounce and crawl gasping for breath.

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18
We have about 120 Officers in the Department I work at. We discussed this case as we do with all critical incidents...... Of the Officers I work with.... none of them that I am aware of have an opinion any different than mine regarding this incident....It's just an opinion.... and mine hasn't changed.

Further......... That Officers actions will be discussed at active shooter training nationwide as what not to do in response to an active shooter...... for decades to come......

From: Salagi
05-Jun-18
" I consider all the facts and work toward a conclusion." I went back and reread the article to make sure I remembered something correctly. He KNEW the shots/firecrackers came from the area of the 1200 building. Then the fire alarm in that building started sounding. He went close to the building and staged, i.e., stayed put. I am sure he had enough training to know that was not enough. Inside was the next logical place for him to go since he had (albeit quickly), surveyed the side he was on. If he needed to check the outside of the building opposite where he was, approaching through the building should accomplish that as well as helping to determine if the shooter was inside. He did not work toward a conclusion.

Whether it was because he was a coward, froze up, or was too lazy to look doesn't matter, bottom line is he failed in his mission. It cost him his career, his self respect, the respect of others, and quite possibly the lives of innocent people. He has to live with that. Yes I feel sorry for him, pity him even, but I do not excuse his lack of action.

From: LINK
05-Jun-18
Solo I’m sure it’s not the same. Locating a shot outside a building with lots of buildings around might be tough too. But determining wether a shot is coming from inside the building you’re standing next to or a neighboring roof top, get real. Plus him and the guy on the golf cart both went that way, I’d say they knew where the shots were coming from.

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
"KPC, If anything you're a critical thinking fail. I also believe it's safe to conclude you should never be a security guard. From reading your posts. I sure you would run at the first sign of trouble. Well maybe not run, more bounce and crawl gasping for breath."

So typical.

"When Debate is Lost, Slander Becomes Tool of the Loser"

- Socrates

As is typical of you, you make judgements and conclusion about people that you know nothing about, based on very few, if any facts, and because of that, come to conclusions that are very often wrong.

Fortunately, I have no idea how I would react in an active shooter situation. Never been in one, I hope I never am. Unless you have, neither do you.

However, in the last five years I have been in three different situations where emergency action was required on my part.

One was being first on the scene of a rollover accident where an elderly driver (on oxygen) had to be removed from an overturned, smoking vehicle. I witnessed the rollover and immediately stopped my vehicle, instructed my wife to call 911, and rushed to the vehicle to assist.

Second, I came across a young lady (jogger) on a country road that was having a seizure. I immediately stopped my car, called 911 and proceeded to carry her oout of the roadway where she would be safe, and steadied her until a second person stopped, and then until the paramedics arrived.

The third instance was just last year in a crowded Mexican restaurant where a middle aged woman was choking. As soon as I heard the commotion on the other side of the restaurant, I rushed to her table, where she was beginning to slump over and turning blue. Another young lady was unsuccessfully trying help so I straightened her up, performed the Heimlich maneuver until a large piece of chicken was dislodged from her throat, likely saving her life.

The first situation could have been life threatening, the second likely was not, and the third most definitely was. Was I a "hero?" Nope. Just did what I thought needed to be done in all situations. Were all the other people in the restaurant "cowards" because they didn't respond? You might think so, but I can't make that determination, nor will I.

So no, I doubt if I was in a situation like the Parkland shooting I would cower, but I honestly don't know. My past history suggests not, but I will never know unless and until I am in that specific situation.

You are welcome to call anyone you want a coward and even personally attack them, but that says a lot more about you than it does them.

KPC

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
""I know you don't like hearing this, but that's called critical thinking sleepy, you should try it sometime.""

So typical.

"When Debate is Lost, Slander Becomes Tool of the Loser"

Practice what you preach KPC aka Loser.

From: slade
05-Jun-18
Hey pontificating troll,

""We have about 120 Officers in the Department I work at. We discussed this case as we do with all critical incidents...... Of the Officers I work with.... none of them that I am aware of have an opinion any different than mine regarding this incident....It's just an opinion.... and mine hasn't changed. Further......... That Officers actions will be discussed at active shooter training nationwide as what not to do in response to an active shooter...... for decades to come......""

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18

K Cummings's embedded Photo
K Cummings's embedded Photo
He KNEW the shots/firecrackers came from the area of the 1200 building.

That's what he thought, but he wasn't sure.

“Possible firecracker,” came the call in to his school radio at 2:21 p.m., from one of the school’s eight full-time security guards. “Firecracker over by the 1200 building.”

Peterson had dealt with fireworks on campus before, and if there were ever a likely time for one it was now, during the last class period on Valentine’s Day. “Probably a few kids acting like idiots,” Peterson remembered thinking, and he stood from his desk and walked out to investigate. His office was a few hundred yards from the 1200 building, and he was heading in that direction with a security guard when a fire alarm went off. Smoke from the firecracker had probably triggered the alarm, Peterson remembered thinking. He began running toward the 1200 building until one of the unarmed security guards swung by in a golf cart and offered him a ride. Peterson climbed onto the back and jumped off the cart about 20 yards from the 1200 building. The security guard drove away, and Peterson took a few steps toward the building before he heard two loud bangs. They didn’t sound like firecrackers. Maybe gunshots, he thought.

He remembered being unsure whether the blasts were coming from outside or inside the building, or if someone was firing shots in the adjacent parking lot or sniping from the roof. He didn’t know, and no one was there to tell him, and he remembered reacting in those first seconds by doing what he believed he had been trained to do: taking cover in a tactical position so he could clear the area. He leaned his back against the wall of an adjacent building. He took out his gun and scanned the surrounding palm trees, the courtyard, the windows, the parking lot, and the roof. He waved at students who were walking through the courtyard and told them to clear the area. He reached for his school radio and gave a “Code Red” to lock down the school. He picked up his police radio for the first time just after 2:23 p.m.

“Please advise, we have possible, uh, could be firecrackers. I think we got shots fired. Possible shots fired, 1200 building,” he said, according to a recording of the radio traffic.

He remembered standing for the next several seconds with his back against the wall, scanning the area around the building for a possible shooter. Trees. Roof. Windows. Courtyard. Trees, roof, windows, courtyard. He could see much of campus from his position, but he couldn’t find a shooter. He remembered staying in place because he didn’t want to expose himself when he didn’t know where the shots were coming from. He remembered feeling certain the gunshots were coming from somewhere near or inside the 1200 building, but where?

“Make sure we get some units over here,” he said into the radio, still at 2:23 p.m. “I need to shut down Stoneman Douglas, the intersection.”

“We’re talking about the 1200 building,” he said, a few seconds later.

“We don’t have any description yet,” he said, at 2:24. “We just hear shots, what appear to be shots fired.”

If what he's saying is accurate, it doesn't sound like he "KNEW" much of anything.

Parkland MSD High school is a 45 acre campus. Peterson was on one side of the campus (red arrow) when the shooting started on the other side of the campus (black arrow). That's a lot of buildings, stories, open space, echoes and commotion between the shooter and the cop. Yet some sitting at their computer screens think they could immediately pinpoint the location of the of the shots (that were reported as firecrackers) and get from one end of campus to the other, enter the correct building, go to the correct floor, identify the shooter and take him out with a pistol.

I'd say he would have been doing pretty darn good if he managed to kill the shooter coming out of the building...and that wouldn't have save one life.

Did Peterson do everything he should have done and by the book? Probably not. Did he do what he thought was right at the moment? Probably.

If some of you are so sure of the facts that you can call him a coward, that's your right, but I certainly can't.

KPC

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18
&%#*¥KING COWARD !!!!! There. That more accurately describes how I feel about him.

05-Jun-18
Not only his actions, but the actions of additional officers arriving on scene contributed...Who knows how many additional lives could have been saved...All second guessing, but it doesn’t look good either way you play it...

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
Timeline is very revealing....

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/96960910-132.html

The first shot rang out at 14:21:33 on the first floor of building twelve. The last shot was fired at 14:27:38 on the third of building 12.

So assuming the call went out to Peterson at the exact second it was fired (not likely), he had almost exactly 6 minutes until the last shot was fired. Remember now, when the call came in, he was told it was firecrackers and probably acted accordingly. Because of this, it isn't likely that he is moving as though it was a life and death situation, but even if he was, he was on the opposite end of a 45 acre campus. So he had to attempt to determine where the shots were coming from, move in cautious manner (because remember he had no idea where the noise was coming from) making his way to where suspected the shots were being fired. Even if he made his way directly across the entire campus, and into building 12, the shooter was no longer on the first floor. he would have had to make his way up two more floors (cautiously mind you, it's an active shooter situation), until finally meeting up with a shooter who has like laid his rifle down and looks like any other student fleeing the scene.

Six minutes, start to finish.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, three other officers arrive (all apparently cowards too, because they didn't immediately enter the building either) and the rest is tragic history.

We can only assume that the three additional officers must have thought they did things correctly because none of them resigned. And we know that the only reason an officer would resign is if he knew he did something wrong (as was posted earlier and subsequently removed).

Unfortunately not everything goes as planned, even for trained cops. That's just the way life (and death) is. But it doesn't necessarily make the cop a coward.

Six minutes, 45 acres, unknown sounds, numerous buildings, multiple floors, moving shooter...

No, I'm not ready to call him (them) cowards.

KPC

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18

K Cummings's Link
Link to animated timeline.

KPC

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18
Active shooter training forever changed after Columbine......

Active shooter training again will forever change after this incident.... The instructors will again stress to immediately go find the threat. Waiting could cost lives. Instructors nationwide will stress not to do what this Officer did.

From: slade
05-Jun-18
Our pontificating troll is here to do one thing.

05-Jun-18
Kevin,

Big Bear is an actual police officer! In charge of other officers.

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
"Active shooter training forever changed after Columbine...... Active shooter training again will forever change after this incident.... The instructors will again stress to immediately go find the threat. Waiting could cost lives. Instructors nationwide will stress not to do what this Officer did.

All likely true. I would hope that LE is constantly looking to improve their response to threats of all kinds.

Why just one officer though? Were the three other officers on the scene cowards too?

KPC

From: K Cummings
05-Jun-18
I know what BB does HfW, and he knows how I feel about LE. We just happen to have different views when it comes to this case in particular. We probably agree 90+ percent of the time.

Adults can do that without resorting the garbage slade and sleepy trade in.

The sheriff of Broward County is an "actual police officer" too, and he is "in charge of other officers" also...so what exactly is your point?

KPC

05-Jun-18
The sheriff seems to me to be more concerned with politics and re-election than other responsibilities.

On one of the news stations here a short time after this occurred, it was reported that the Deputy's training was actually to do exactly what he did. But I also read after Columbine that training had changed. I think Bear's position is one in the know, much better than the rest of us non-LE types, IMO. I like logic, but gut instinct developed from actual experience gets the nod in this case, again IMO. Thanks.

From: BIG BEAR
05-Jun-18
I only have one question and then I'll leave this thread alone...... Am I the pontificating troll ?? ;-)

From: slade
05-Jun-18
No, not even close, you write with logic and reason and are respected for what you do, putting your life on the line everyday. The pontificating critical thought troll on the other hand relies on better than shit stirring posts as if the ramblings of paper pusher mattered.

As stated above the COWARD was no sheepdog.

From: sleepyhunter
05-Jun-18
Absolutely not BB. You've voiced your opinion and it has value. Unlike a certain critical thinking fail cry baby that trolls the CF.

From: K Cummings
06-Jun-18
"I only have one question and then I'll leave this thread alone...... Am I the pontificating troll ?? ;-)

The short answer to your question is no... at least not today.

The long answer is you have been...and you probably will be again.

As evidenced by your recent departure from the CF, you know full well that there is a certain group of posters here that resort to the same tactics when then can't intelligently defend their positions.

For the most part, anyone who disagrees with them is a troll, a liberal, a whiner, a liar, a muzzy lover, a crybaby, some woman's name, or any one of a whole host of other juvenile, often vulgar names they mistakenly think will bother whoever it is they are after.

That is why, why you said the following recently,

"This time I'm really done..... For good here on the CF......... Some of you whacked out right wing nut jobs are just too much for me. I refuse to live my life like you with the constant thoughts of negativity in your heads. I'm done wasting my time and energy here.... It is completely pointless.......

I strongly encouraged you to stay, and to not let those that resort to those tactics run you off.

I'm glad you decided to come back. You make others (including me) think about their positons. Will we always agree? I hope not. Bootlicking and backslapping is boring.

KPC

From: Amoebus
06-Jun-18
BB - "The instructors will again stress to immediately go find the threat. Waiting could cost lives. Instructors nationwide will stress not to do what this Officer did."

This is taught now because most of these school shooters are kids who aren't well trained. One of these kooks will know this is the new policy and will set up an ambush to kill as many cops as they can who are rushing in. Then the policy will be modified.

A lot of training is involved to overcome the survival instinct - even in war there is a % that cannot do it (and they train an order of magnitude more than police officers who are an order of magnitude more than security officers who are an order of magnitude more than school teachers).

From: Mint
06-Jun-18
I could see him wondering where the shots are coming from for maybe a minute but after that why not go to the 1200 Building and check it out. Six minutes is an eternity when you are standing in one spot hearing shots going off. To me, he knew exactly what was going on and said I'm not going in there without backup.

From: K Cummings
06-Jun-18
Interestingly enough, it would appear that even post-Columbine, different departments have different policies regarding solo-entry in an active shooter situation.

From a publication entitled:

CRITICAL ISSUES IN POLICING SERIES

The Police Response to Active Shooter Incidents by the Police Executive Research Forum

"SOLO ENTRY AND “CONTACT TEAMS” In active shooter situations where an officer arrives at the scene and can hear shooting, screams, or other indications that the perpetrator is actively shooting or threatening victims, some departments’ policies explicitly provide that the lone officer can move to stop the threat without waiting for any additional officers to arrive. The shooter may be stopped by arrest, by containment, or by use of deadly force. And some policies note that when an active shooter incident occurs at a school, a School Resource Officer (SRO) may be the first officer at the scene who must make a decision about whether to respond alone. Other departments require that officers wait until a certain number of officers have arrived. Those officers are instructed to form a “contact team” that responds as a unit with the mission of stopping the shooter and preventing his escape. Some departments’ policies recommend a contact team of a certain size—often four officers—but also specify that fewer officers may respond if it is apparent that a full contact team cannot be assembled quickly. Some of these agencies caution that a smaller team should be deployed only as a last resort."

It would be very interesting to know what the Broward County departments official policy is on this.

KPC

From: K Cummings
06-Jun-18

K Cummings's Link
Oops, forgot the link to the publication.

KPC

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