The FBI admits that it was warned about Parkland, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz more than a month ago in a phone call from someone "close" to Cruz making very specific and worrisome allegations against him. The FBI admitted the details in a statement issued Friday.
The opening paragraph of the statement is chilling and should leave everyone asking why the FBI didn't act before Wednesday's tragedy.
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.
So why didn't the FBI intervene, look into these warnings and stop the shooting that killed 17 and wounded 14? Quite simply, the call, and the disturbing information just fell through the cracks.
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.
Translation: a citizen saw something, a citizen said nothing and the FBI dropped the ball completely.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the statement that he is committed to getting to the bottom of what went wrong -- not that any of that will bring back the 17 lost lives or heal those wounded physically and mentally from the carnage Cruz was able to inflict on members of his former school community.
"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," Wray said.