The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has admitted that it received a tip off in early January about Nikolas Cruz, the suspected Florida school shooter who killed 17 people on Wednesday, but failed to act.
The FBI said in a statement that a person close to the shooter called the agency’s tip line on Jan 5 to warn 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.”
On top of that, police had been called 39 times to the shooter’s home, with the reported call outs ranging from domestic disturbance to elder and child abuse.
The statement came two days after the 19-year-old Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland in Broward County, just north of Miami on the state’s southeastern tip.
In addition to the 17 killings, the shooting also injured 14 others.
The FBI said that protocols were not followed for the January tip, which therefore meant the information was not provided to the Miami office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.
Cameron Kasky, a senior at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived the shooting, spoke about the sense of anger following the tragic killings.
“We are all angry. We are not confused any more, we know what’s going on. We know that politicians like Rick Scott and Marco Rubio are creating a facade that this is normal, this is inevitable, there’s nothing we could do to stop this. And people are realizing that we’ve been fooled,” said Kasky.
Wednesday’s massacre raised concerns about potential failure in school security and sparked ongoing debates about the U.S. gun control laws.
Cruz, who was previously expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, made a brief court appearance on Thursday and was ordered held without bond.