The FBI has admitted that protocols were not followed after a person close to Nikolas Cruz, the shooter who has reportedly confessed to killing 17 in the Valentine’s Day Florida school massacre, reported concerns about the former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student.
The caller contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line to provide information about Cruz’s gun ownership, erratic behavior, social media posts, professed desire to kill and his potential to carry out such an attack. In a statement, the FBI admitted that this information, received on Jan. 5, should have been assessed as “a threat to life” and passed on to the FBI Miami Field Office, where further investigation would have taken place. The information was not passed on and no further inquiries were conducted.
“We are still investigating the facts,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “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. It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.”
“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy,” he added. “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.”
Cruz, 19, had been expelled from the Parkland, Fla., school and brought several loaded guns in a backpack onto campus Wednesday, opening fire before escaping the scene along with fleeing students. Since the massacre, reports have emerged that several warning signs about Cruz may have been missed.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he ordered a Justice Department review into the incident, and into how the department responds to indications of potential violence. “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” he said in a Friday statement. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for Wray’s resignation over the failures. “We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act,” he said in a statement. “‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign.”