The FBI said Friday that more than a month before the shooting rampage at a South Florida high school, the bureau received a warning that the 19-year-old charged in the massacre might carry out an attack at a school but they did not act on the tip.
The disclosure came two days after police say Nikolas Cruz marched into his former high school in Parkland (FL) and gunned down 17 people, most of them teenagers. In a statement, the FBI said it received a tip on Jan. 5 from “a person close to Nikolas Cruz” reporting concerns about him.
This person, who was not identified, told the FBI’s public tip line “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,” the bureau said.
Such a warning should have been investigated “as a potential threat to life,” triggering investigative efforts in the local FBI field office in Miami, but “these protocols were not followed” and no further inquiries were made, the bureau said in a statement.
The startling admission comes after a Mississippi man said that he warned the FBI last September about a social media comment allegedly posted byBen Bennight says he saw a comment on a YouTube video that troubled him and notified the FBI. The comment on Bennight’s YouTube video said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he ordered his deputy attorney general — the No. 2 law enforcement official in the country — to review the bureau’s handling of the matter.