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: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
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Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
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Adams144451
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Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
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George126425
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Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
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Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
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Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
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Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
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Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
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Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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