PARKLAND, Fla. – As families mourn the loss of those killed in a high school shooting, we’re learning more information about what officials knew about the confessed shooter before the massacre.
On Friday, the FBI released a statement, saying the agency failed to act on a tip about Nikolas Cruz.
On Jan. 5, a person close to Cruz called the FBI’s Public Access Line to report concerns about him. According to the FBI, the caller provided information “about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”
However, FBI officials say the bureau did not appropriately follow established protocols.
Under established protocols, officials say the information should have been assessed as a “potential threat to life” and then passed on to the FBI Miami Field Office, where Cruz would have been investigated.
Instead, authorities say the protocols were not followed.
“The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time,” the statement said.
The stunning admission is sure to raise further questions about whether the FBI could have prevented the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead.
“We are still investigating the facts. I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public. It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy,” Wray said in the statement. “All of the men and women of the FBI are dedicated to keeping the American people safe, and are relentlessly committed to improving all that we do and how we do it.”
On Thursday, it was revealed that the FBI also was warned in September about a possible school shooting threat from a YouTube user with the same name as Cruz, according to a video blogger.
Ben Bennight, the 36-year-old YouTube video blogger from Mississippi, noticed in September an alarming comment on a video he’d posted. He told CNN he immediately contacted the FBI.
“Im going to be a professional school shooter,” read the comment, left by a user with the name Nikolas Cruz.