by Maxine Bentzel
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (CBS12) — A federal lawsuit alleges inaction and lack of training caused 17 people to die at Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
“We didn’t deserve that. We were just students and we thought we were safe at school and we didn’t need that to happen to us,” former student Audrey Diaz said.
Valentine's Day is a day that Diaz, who graduated this year from Stoneman Douglas, will never forget.
“That day we were just focused on making plans for college, the future, prom, some of those events," she said. "Some of my friends who were killed that day weren’t able to go to those events."
Diaz survived, but her mother, Iris, said life since the shooting has not been the same.
“This affects her daily life. Sometimes, we have to go to the therapist twice a week,” Iris Diaz said. “Why is she scared to go to university? Why when we go places, why does she have to worry where is the exit?”
Audrey is one of 15 students listed in the federal lawsuit announced Wednesday. It’s against multiple defendants, including Scot Peterson, the school resource deputy who didn’t go into the school that day.
The lawsuit claims Peterson’s “arbitrary and conscience-shocking actions and inactions directly and predictably caused children to die, get injured, and get traumatized. “
“If you didn’t like your job like Officer Peterson, you didn’t have the love for children when you knew you were about to retire and you didn’t do nothing because you knew you weren’t going to put your life on the line for these kids," Iris Diaz said. "So why were you there working? Getting more money."
Former Broward school guard Andrew Medina is also a defendant listed in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, he “failed to stop shooter, question him, or lock down the school, even though he saw shooter walk past him and he recognized shooter to be a known danger to the school.”
“We deserve more from our law enforcement and they could have ended the massacre before more people died that day,” Audrey Diaz said.
Superintendent of Broward County Schools Robert Runcie and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel were also listed as defendants claiming they were well aware of the potential danger the shooter posed and the terrible lack of security at the school, but “chose not to fix it.”
“I hope this lawsuit sends a message to everyone that they can’t underestimate the threat of violence at schools and they must ensure that they’re prepared and trained so this doesn’t happen again,” Audrey Diaz said.
CBS12 did attempt to reach out to the defendants involved for comment.
A lawyer for Medina said he acted according to how he was trained.
The lawsuit also claims Peterson violated the constitutional rights of one student when he detained him the morning the shooting took place and searched his bag.
It says Peterson accused the student of selling drugs after he found money in his bag.
Read the full lawsuit below: