The FBI admitted on Friday that a person close to Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, reached out to the agency's Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report about his "gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts."
The information provided by a caller was assessed as a "potential threat to life" and was supposed to be handed over to the FBI Miami Field Office for an inquiry into Cruz's intentions, according to the FBI's statement. However, this information was mishandled and the FBI took no further actions.
“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," FBI Director Christopher Wray said commenting on the fact that report on Cruz was not properly addressed.
Last year, the FBI also obtained information about a comment on a YouTube video published by a "Nikolas Cruz," but fell short of identifying the author of the comment.
On February 14, Cruz, a student who was expelled for "disciplinary reasons," entered his school in Parkland, Florida with an AR-15-style rifle and opened fire, eventually killing 17 people and injuring 14 more.
The rampage has become the 17th shooting at US schools this year, becoming the deadliest one since 2012 when a shooter opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 students and teachers.