Trump: ‘I would’ve gone in there without a gun’
DONALD Trump claims he would have charged into the Florida high school if he heard gunshots - even if he "didn't have a weapon."
The US President's comments come in the wake of a scandal about an armed school guard who didn't go inside when he heard bangs coming from the Parkland school, where 17 people were killed by gunman Nikolas Cruz on Valentine's Day.
Deputy Scot Peterson - who has since resigned from his position as a school resource officer - said through a lawyer that he believed the shooter was outside the high school and that protocol demanded he "seek cover," according to the New York Post.
The US President, who has slammed the guard as "frankly, disgusting", made further comments during a governors meeting at the White House today to discuss school safety.
"I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon," Trump said.
The president also criticised several deputies who failed to immediately enter the school, telling the governors that the law enforcement officers "weren't exactly Medal of Honor winners."
"The way they performed was really a disgrace," Trump said.
President Trump also defended his proposal that teachers in schools be armed and trained in the use of firearms, saying he only wanted "highly trained people that have a natural talent (for shooting), like hitting a baseball, or hitting a golf ball, or putting" to handle weapons in schools.
Deputy Peterson's lawyer said allegations against his client were "patently untrue".
"(He) heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus," his Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer, Joseph DiRuzzo, said in a statement.
"Broward Sheriff's Office trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement.
"(His actions) were appropriate under the circumstances.
"Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue."
Deputy Peterson claims he took cover after responding to a report that firecrackers were going off at the school, his lawyer said.
The deputy claims he told the first Coral Springs officer who arrived on the scene that he thought "the shots were coming from outside," according to the statement.
"Radio transmissions indicated that there (was) a gunshot victim in the area of the football field, which served to confirm Mr. Peterson's belief that the shooter, or shooters, were outside."
On Thursday, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed that Peterson stood near an entrance of the Parkland high school for more than four minutes after Nikolas Cruz allegedly began firing but "never went in."
"I am devastated. Sick to my stomach. He never went in," Sheriff Israel said at a press conference.
Peterson has since resigned.