THEY KNEW: FBI Admits 'Protocols Were Not Followed' On Tip About Florida High School Shooter

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Posted: Feb 16, 2018 1:18 PM
THEY KNEW: FBI Admits 'Protocols Were Not Followed' On Tip About Florida High School Shooter

UPDATE: Florida Gov. Rick Scott calls on FBI Director to resign for failing to follow up on tip about Florida shooter (via CBS News):

Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign, after the FBI admitted it received a tip about the suspect in the Parkland shooting as recently as January, but failed to follow through on it. 

The FBI admitted in a statement Friday that it received a call on Jan. 5 detailing concerns about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old law enforcement officials believe is responsible for the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this week. The FBI determined "protocols were not followed" when a tip was phoned into the FBI's public access line, but was never forwarded to the FBI's Miami field office and received no further investigation.

Scott called that "unacceptable" in a statement he issued Friday.

"The FBI's failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable," Scott said. "The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz's 'desire to kill people,' and 'the potential of him conducting a school shooting.'

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They knew, folks. The FBI knew and didn’t follow proper protocols on a tip about Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in the recent high school shooting in Florida. FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau was still investigating this matter, along with reviewing the processes in which such information from citizens offering tips are analyzed.  The FBI received a tip on January 5 that Cruz had the potential to commit a school shooting Cruz killed 17 people and wounded at least a dozen more at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday (via Politico):

The Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledged Friday that some “protocols were not followed” after they obtained a tip in January that shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz had the potential of “conducting a school shooting.”

“We are still investigating the facts,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “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.”

The FBI said a caller had provided them “information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” on Jan. 5.

The New York Times has more

The F.B.I. failed to act on a tip in January from a person close to Nikolas Cruz warning that he owned a gun and might conduct a school shooting, the bureau acknowledged on Friday, in its first admission that it might have been able to prevent the deadly attack at a Florida high school.

The tipster said Mr. Cruz had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” and advised the F.B.I. of “the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the agency said in a statement.

The information should have been assessed and forwarded to the Miami F.B.I. field office, the agency said.

The FBI was alerted about Cruz in September, when he was reported by a YouTube vlogger for making a threat in his comments section. The FBI concluded that they couldn’t verify the identity of the user (via Miami Herald):

Thursday morning, the FBI special agent in charge for South Florida told reporters that agents — after “reviews and checks” — could not identify the user behind the YouTube comment.

“We were unable to identify the person who made the comment,” said Rob Lasky said at a press conference, also saying that no other information was included with that comment which would “indicate a time, location, or the true identity of the person who made the comment.”

The comment, posted in September on a YouTube page of a Mississippi bail bondsman, was made by someone with the user name “nikolas cruz.”

[…]

Ben Bennight, a Gulfport bail bondsman who goes by “Ben the Bondsman” on YouTube, said in a video posted Wednesday night that he spoke to FBI agents in September about a comment left on one of his videos by someone with the username “nikolas cruz.”

“Im going to be a professional school shooter,” the commenter wrote.

Also, Cruz was the subject of an email warning at Marjory Douglas Stoneman about being him a potential threat to students and should be barred from venturing onto campus with a backpack. In the past, he brought bullets to school, reported the Herald:

He preened with guns and knives on social media, bragged about shooting rats with his BB gun and got kicked out of school — in part because he had brought bullets in his backpack, according to one classmate. He was later expelled for still-undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

The portrait of Nikolas Cruz, suspected of fatally shooting 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and wounding 15 others at his former school, is a troubled teen with few friends and an obsessive interest in weapons. Administrators considered him enough of a potential threat that one teacher said a warning was emailed last year against allowing him on the campus with a backpack.