Trump: Parkland deputy ‘didn’t have the courage’

Washington (CNN)–President Donald Trump said Friday that the armed school resource officer who stayed outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as last week’s shooting unfolded did a “poor job.”

“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened, but he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that,” Trump said of Scot Peterson on the White House South Lawn before leaving to speak at CPAC.

Related: Fla. school officer waited outside building for 4 minutes as killings happened, sheriff says

“But that’s a case where somebody was outside, they’re trained, they didn’t react properly under pressure or they were coward,” Trump added. “It was a real shot to the police department.”

Trump continued to criticize Peterson while speaking later Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“He didn’t turn out to be too good, I’ll tell you that. Turned out to be not good, not a credit to law enforcement, that I can tell you,” he said.
The comments come as he has called for “hardened” schools with armed teachers to act as a deterrent and, if necessary, a last resort to fire back at shooters.

Peterson, the resource deputy at the Parkland, Florida, high school, waited outside the building as Nikolas Cruz fired shots, killing 17 people last week, officials said Thursday. Peterson resigned after he was suspended without pay.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday that Peterson remained outside “for upwards of four minutes.” The shooting, Israel said, lasted six minutes.

CNN’s calls to Peterson on Thursday were not returned.

CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.

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