The Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted in a statement Friday that it received a tip a month ago that the suspected Parkland, Fla. school shooter was armed and wanted to kill people.
The FBI revealed it received a tip on Jan. 5 from someone close to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged this week in the murder of 17 people, that "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."
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While normally that information should have been categorized as a potential threat to human life and fast-tracked to the Miami field office, the FBI statement acknowledges "protocols were not followed" and the tip was never investigated.
"We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the statement. "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 failure to investigate the January tip came months after the FBI investigated a YouTube comment made by an individual with the same name as the suspected shooter, who wrote, "I’m going to be a professional school shooter." Despite his YouTube moniker being "nikolas cruz," the FBI failed to ascertain the reported individual's identity.