The 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school massacre will be reenacted twice with the firing of about 140 blanks on campus as part of families’ lawsuits against the former sheriff’s deputy they accuse of failing to stop the gunman, the Associated Press reports. Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips granted a motion from attorney David Brill, who says his video-recorded reenactment will prove former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson knew the shooter was firing inside a three-story classroom building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, but chose not to intercede. Peterson’s attorney, Michael Piper, questioned the validity of such reenactments, but his side now will conduct one. Peterson, the school’s on-campus deputy, was acquitted last month of criminal charges accusing him of inaction, but the civil case against him, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and others is governed by different laws and rules of evidence. It has a lower standard of proof.
The judge made it clear that she was not ruling on whether she will allow the reenactments to be played for the jury at the trial, which has not been scheduled. “That’s for another day,” Phillips said. She will have to review the reenactments’ recordings and hear arguments on whether they accurately reflect what Peterson heard. Families of the 17 killed and 26 injured are seeking unspecified damages in lawsuits that are being tried jointly. The judge ordered that the reenactments be conducted before the school’s summer break ends next month and that nearby residents be given sufficient warning. She wants them done on the same or consecutive days. The reenactments would be based on school surveillance videos of the massacre that show second-by-second the actions and locations of Peterson and shooter Nikolas Cruz during the six-minute attack.