Nikolas Cruz: Florida Governor calls on FBI director to resign over missed signs

FBI has admitted failing to investigate a tip about suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Friday 16 February 2018 20:50
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Florida’s Governor is calling on the FBI’s director to resign amid revelations the agency failed to follow up on a tip about a suspected school shooter.

“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable”, Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

“Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” Mr Scott aded. “An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain”.

As authorities reconstruct the events that led to the bloodletting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this week, they have discovered that the FBI had received warnings on at least two occasions about suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz.

The investigative agency acknowledged that, a little more than a month before the shooting, a person contacted the FBI tip line with “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.”

In a violation of protocol, the information was never passed along to the FBI’s Miami office for followup.

“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,” Mr Wray said in a statement about the lapse, adding “We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy”.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he is launching a view of FBI and Department of Justice practices.

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Mr Sessions said in a statement. “We see the tragic consequences of these failures”.

Florida shooting: A grieving community tries to come to terms with the loss of 17 lives

The agent in charge of the Miami office has also said the agency received a tip about an online comment, posted under the name ‘nikolas cruz,’ in which the commenter said “Im going to be a professional school shooter”.

“No other information was included with that comment, which would indicate a time, location or the true identity of the person who made that comment,” Special Agent Robert Lasky told reporters. “The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment”.

Mr Cruz, who is facing seventeen counts of murder, was expelled from the school for bad behaviour before the shooting, and some students and teachers there have described him as troubled. His defence attorney described him as a “a broken human being”.

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