OAN’s Geraldine Berry
5:40 PM – Friday, August 4, 2023
As part of an ongoing lawsuit in which former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Peterson is accused of failing to protect victims, ballistics experts said Friday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas Fired at least 140 shots in high school.
Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) and Republican Rep. Mario Diaz Barrat (R-FL) led congressional delegations to tour the facility ahead of the reenactment. The purpose of the reenactment was to record the auditory experiences Peterson had during the six-minute attack that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others.
Nicholas Cruz, a former student of Stoneman Douglas, was convicted in 2021 and sentenced to life in prison for carrying out the horrific raid.
Tony Montalto, president of Stand with Parkland, an organization representing many of the families affected by the tragedy, said Mr Peterson’s acquittal on the criminal charges was due to his failure to behave appropriately at the time of the attack. emphasized that it does not exempt Montalto’s daughter Gina was among those who tragically lost their lives that day.
The reenactment began at the same entrance the shooter entered. It then moved in the same direction during the 6 minute attack.
During the reenactment, technicians were stationed outside the three-story classroom building, carefully recording gunshots to recreate the conditions Peterson encountered on that fateful day. Peterson claimed he did not hear all the gunshots. Therefore, he said, he was unable to identify the source because of the echo. Peterson, he claimed, had he known the shooter’s location, he would have charged the building.
The former deputy reportedly approached the building’s entrance and drew his weapon, but eventually decided to wait by an adjacent building for 40 minutes while making radio calls.
As the reenactment unfolds, Montana State University professor Robert Maher, an expert in gunshot recordings, points out that the sharpness of a direct gunshot can be difficult to reproduce accurately on a loudspeaker. Nonetheless, this reproduction may provide valuable insight into the size and direction of the shot as Peterson perceived it near the enclosed classroom building.
The families of the victims who filed the lawsuit allege that Peterson knew of Cruz’s whereabouts but chose to withdraw out of cowardice in violation of his duty to protect students and staff. Peterson was acquitted of felony child neglect and other criminal charges in June, but the civil lawsuit allowed him to proceed with the reenactment due to the lighter burden of proof.
The recreated experts reportedly fired live ammunition from the same position as Cruz, using the same AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Bullets are safely trapped to avoid danger.
University of Miami law professor Tamara Rave said Judge Carol Lisa Phillips should ensure that the recreation of what Peterson heard was a fair and accurate depiction when deciding whether recordings would be admissible as evidence during a trial. Consider whether it has been explained. The goal is to provide insight into Peterson’s actions and decisions during the tragic events.
In preparation for a repeat, Parkland officials sent warnings to residents to prevent panic from the gunshots. In addition, Eagle’s Heaven, a community wellness center established after the shootings, on Friday offered several activities such as yoga, tai chi, drum circles, meditation and eating to facilitate discussions for those seeking spiritual support. Prepared the program.
The Parkland School District announced its intention to begin demolition of the building after the event, as locals braced for the emotional impact of the reenactment. The building has served as evidence throughout the criminal trials of Mr. Cruz and Mr. Peterson, and serves as an indelible reminder of that shocking Valentine’s Day tragedy.
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