FBI says it didn't act on tip about Parkland shooter

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review Friday into how the Justice Department and FBI respond to indications...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 9:39 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 9:39 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review Friday into how the Justice Department and FBI respond to indications of potential violence after the bureau said it failed to act on a tip about the shooter in the Parkland, Florida, school massacre.

A person close to Nikolas Cruz, the confessed shooter, contacted the FBI on January 5 to report concerns about him, the FBI said in a statement Friday. But the bureau did not appropriately follow established protocols in following up on the tip.

"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 -- which prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to call on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign -- 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.

The FBI said 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." The information should have been assessed as a "potential threat to life," the bureau said.

Wray said the bureau is still investigating what happened.

"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."

The Justice Department will review not just how the Cruz tip was missed but how authorities respond to similar situations, Sessions said.

"We will make this a top priority," Sessions said in a statement. "It has never been more important to encourage every person in every community to spot the warning signs and alert law enforcement. Do not assume someone else will step up -- all of us must be vigilant. Our children's lives depend on it."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, also called for the House and Senate to conduct investigations into how the FBI reviews public tips in similar instances.

Disturbing signs

Cruz has confessed to police to being the gunman, according to a probable cause affidavit. His public defender described him as a "deeply disturbed, emotionally broken" young man who is coming to grips with the pain he has caused.

But as details about Cruz have emerged, so have indications that signs were missed in the months leading up to Wednesday's rampage.

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.

And documents obtained by CNN show that law enforcement officers responded to Cruz's house on 39 occasions over a seven-year period. No police reports were immediately available for those calls so it was not possible to determine whether Cruz was involved.

Meanwhile, Cruz's digital footprint offers other disturbing glimpses into his mind.

He hurled slurs at blacks and Muslims, and according to the Anti-Defamation League, had ties to white supremacists. He said he would shoot people with his AR-15 and singled out police and anti-fascist protesters as deserving of his vengeance.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 819597

Reported Deaths: 15406
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147901924
Mobile725791338
Madison52306697
Shelby37597350
Baldwin37245552
Tuscaloosa35101612
Montgomery34106740
Lee23526246
Calhoun22225488
Morgan20941378
Etowah19825500
Marshall18361304
Houston17384412
St. Clair16054339
Cullman15443293
Limestone15343199
Elmore15241286
Lauderdale14302295
Talladega13836283
DeKalb12649261
Walker11202370
Blount10192176
Autauga10043148
Jackson9871184
Coffee9210191
Dale8897185
Colbert8860201
Tallapoosa7084198
Escambia6772134
Covington6712183
Chilton6641162
Russell636659
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion5005127
Dallas4973200
Pike4795106
Clarke475584
Geneva4571127
Winston4516103
Lawrence4321117
Bibb425186
Barbour357776
Marengo338090
Monroe331464
Randolph329764
Butler326396
Pickens316284
Henry312666
Hale311388
Cherokee302860
Fayette292880
Washington251551
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245275
Clay243368
Macon234663
Lamar224147
Conecuh186153
Coosa180240
Lowndes175164
Wilcox168839
Bullock151644
Perry138840
Sumter133038
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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