The FBI failed to follow proper protocols after a person close to Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz called the FBI tipline to warn that Cruz had a “desire to kill people” and could carry out a school shooting, the agency said in a statement on Friday.
The agency failed to act on the tip, which came a little over a month before Cruz killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school this week.
The FBI’s statement is below:
On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. 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.
Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.
We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.
“We are still investigating the facts. 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,” said FBI Director Chris Wray.
“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. 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 FBI’s admission is just the latest in a trend of the agency missing mass shooters before it’s too late.
The agency similarly dropped the ball before mass shootings in Orlando and Charleston, among other mass murders.