In the wake of the mass shooting that killed 17 people at a South Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, the Denton County sheriff has sent a strong directive to deputies on protocol for response to an active shooter.
While former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nikolas Cruz fired shots into five of the school’s classrooms on the afternoon of Feb. 14, Broward County deputy Scot Peterson stood outside.
Peterson, who has since resigned amid criticism from the public and even President Trump, believed the shooting was taking place outside the school and followed protocol for such an incident, according to his lawyer.
That included taking up a "tactical position" outside the building and initiating a Code Red lockdown.
Thirteen days later, Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphee sent a notice to all of the department’s deputies, telling them to “take immediate action” in the event of an active shooter.
The directive, which was also posted to social media, didn’t mention Peterson by name, but referenced the Florida shooting and instructed officers to “go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives.”
“With the recent tragedy in Florida, I wanted to make clear my policy on responding to an active shooter,” Murphee wrote. “All commissioned Deputies if you respond to an active shooter you are expected to take immediate action. We do not stage and wait for SWAT, we do not take cover in a parking lot, and we do not wait for another agency. We go in and do our duty. We go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives. If for any reason you can not follow this directive please inform your supervisor and we will work to get you re-assigned.
“Thank you for all you do every day!!”