A Florida judge ordered on Wednesday to allow reenactments of the 2018 mass sh00ting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building as part of a civil action against the former school resource officer who remained outside while the slaughter took place.
Scot Peterson was found not guilty of criminal charges late last month after prosecutors accused him of ignoring his training and failing to confront the shooter, instead taking cover outside the building during the February 14, 2018, attαck, which ki!!ed 17 people, including 14 students, and injured 17.
Peterson claimed he didn’t enter the building because echoes on the Parkland, Florida, campus made it impossible to discern where the gunfire was coming from.
Peterson is still facing civil charges from several of the victims’ families and a survivor, who wants to reenact the sh00ting to prove the former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy heard “upwards of 70 shots and knew where they were coming from,” according to David Brill, an attorney for the plaintiffs, in court Wednesday, shortly before Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips indicated she would allow the reenactment.
The defense will also be permitted to stage a reenactment, which must be coordinated on the same or consecutive days before the start of the new school year next month.
Phillips stated that the reenactments must occur within the next month, and the court scheduled a status hearing on July 20 to ensure that both parties are on track.
It’s unclear if the reenactment recordings will be allowed at trial, but Phillips indicated that the subject would be addressed later.
The plaintiffs’ motion sought permission to enter the building to conduct audio and video recordings during a “reenactment that would parallel the killer’s movements, and the gunfire inside” the three-story 1200 building, which was preserved pending Peterson’s trial and that of the shooter, who was sentenced to life in pr!son without the possibility of parole last year.
“We are going to be using the same Smith & Wesson model M&P 15 semiautomatic rifle, we’re going to use the same caliber of cartridge – albeit with blanks, what they call Full Metal Jacket blanks. There will be no cartridge expelled.” “There will be no cartridge expelled,” Brill told the judge, adding that he expected it to take about two hours. Brill explained that they will also activate the fire alarm and utilize a golf cart to replicate Peterson’s arrival on the scene.
A Tweet posted by the official account of CNN:-
A Florida judge has ruled to allow reenactments of the 2018 mass shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building as part of a civil lawsuit against the former school resource officer who remained outside as the massacre unfolded. https://t.co/RooFeT4uLs
— CNN (@CNN) July 12, 2023
Peterson arrived a few minutes after the shooting started and was not present when the victims on the first level were slain.
According to Michael Piper, Peterson’s attorney, the defense also sought to undertake a reenactment, though he objected to using blanks, claiming they sounded nothing like live shots.
Many variables could not be accounted for, according to Piper, and the reenactments posed a “very unclear possibility that this will even result in anything that can be presented to a jury.”
Piper and a city attorney who did not protest the reenactment highlighted worries about the possible pain the reenactments could impose on the community, particularly those who live near the school. The judge made it plain that proper community notification would be required.
On Wednesday, Jeffrey Tew, an attorney for Carmen Schentrup’s parents, expressed support for the reenactment, saying that “the real people who suffered trauma in this matter are the families of the deαd children and wounded children, all of whom have authorized Mr. Brill to bring this motion.”
The Broward County School District now has custody of the building where the incident occurred, formerly with the Broward Sheriff’s Office. On Wednesday, a judge ruled that a portion of the campus is no longer a crime scene.
According to Interim Superintendent Dr. Earlean Smiley’s weekly report, demolition will commence within 30 days after gaining access to the structure.
“Once we receive the building, we will move quickly to demolish it, remove the resultant debris, and restore the site to a landscaped condition for future use,” Smiley stated in the report.
Smiley stated that the demolition would not be done before the start of school on August 21.
Following the Peterson verdict, some of the relatives of those deceased were granted private tours of the 1200 building at their request.
“It looked like a war zone where a mass murderer had hunted down and killed children and staff, and it was grotesque,” Max Schachter, victim Alex Schachter’s father, told CNN after entering the building. “There was blood all over the place.” I just wasn’t expecting it.”
On the other hand, Schachter went because he “wanted to go in Alex’s classroom.” “I wanted to sit in the chair that Alex took his last breath in and was murd*red in, and it was just unbelievable.”
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