FBI says they failed to act on warning about Florida school shooters potential for violence
On Valentines Day, Nikolas Cruz marched into his former high school and opened fire on students and teaching staff, killing 17. The FBI told reporters on Friday that they received a warning that the 19-year old could potentially carry out an attack, but failed to act upon it. In a statement, the FBI revealed they received a tip from someone who was close to Nikolas Cruz, stating that the teen could potentially carry out a school shooting.
In a statement detailing this startling revelation, it says, “”Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received on January 5th.”
Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, has vowed to get to the bottom of this. In a statement he said, “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.”
He continued on saying, “We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. 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.”
Nikolas Cruz has had a history of run-ins with the police dating back to 2010. A sheriff in the area said that his deputies reported to Cruz’s house more than 35 times in just six years alone. Cruz lived with his younger brother Zachary and his adopted mother, Lynda. Deputies in the area said that they have received 36 911 calls to to his home in the past, most dealing with domestic disturbances and violence. Despite the countless calls, Cruz was never arrested, and was even cleared as being “no threat to anyone or himself.”
This shooting marks the third occurance where the people of Florida have been terrorized by mass shootings, despite being known by the FBI beforehand. The man who opened fire at Pulse Nightclub was found out to be previously under investigation by FBI officials. Last year, the man who gunned down 5 people at the Fort Lauderdale airport was also under investigation, yet nothing was done by the Bureau.
In addition to the warnings received from law enforcement, the FBI had received a tip in the past of a YouTube comment that was posted under Cruz’s name. The comment read “i’m going to be a professional school shooter.” Special Agent Rob Lansky who was in charge of the investigation of the comments origins, said they could not identify the user who made the comment.
In a statement the FBI said, “No other information was included in the comment which would indicate a particular time, location or the true identity of the person who posted the comment.”
In the meantime, the people of Broward County are reeling from the devastation this has caused in their lives. Hundreds showed up for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the shooting.