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FBI Warned Twice about Parkland, Florida School Shooter
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Nikolas Cruz. Photo courtesy of Today.

Summary: A YouTube user had warned the FBI about the Parkland, Florida shooter’s intentions in September. 

On Wednesday, a teenager had entered his former high school, set off the fire alarm, and then fired numerous rounds at his fleeing classmates. As of today, almost 20 people died in the shooting.

  
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Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A year before the shooting, he had been expelled for disciplinary issues.

After the tragedy, YouTube user Ben Bennight, 36 from Mississippi, told CNN that he had reported Cruz to the FBI and to YouTube in September for threatening to become a school shooter.

“I saw the story kind of go across my newsfeed, but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it,” Bennight said. “But when the FBI said it was the same name, the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Wow, I hope you were at least watching this guy that I alerted you to months ago.”

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Bennight said that a user named “Nikolas Cruz” left a comment on one of his videos that said, “Im going to be a professional school shooter.” He said that he had reported the message to YouTube, which deleted it, and he emailed the FBI, who called him for an interview but did not contact Florida local authorities.

A law enforcement official told CNN that the FBI received another report about Cruz, and in both cases, they did not notify local police.



The FBI in Florida said that the Mississippi branch had contacted them, but they did not have enough information to do anything with Bennight’s tip.

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

Cruz was arrested on Wednesday after the shooting. According to The Independent, 15 died at the high school, two passed at the hospital, and at least 18 are injured. Although the police have not confirmed all the names of the dead, many families have taken to social media to write tributes for killed students and adults.

On Wednesday, Cruz entered his former high school wearing a gas mask to enact his calculated plan. He used an AR-15 automatic weapon and had used several magazines of ammunition.

“The shooter wore a gas mask, and he had smoke grenades; he set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms and into the hall, and there the carnage began,” Florida Senator Bill Nelson told CNN.

After the incident, President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences.

“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” Trump said on Twitter.

Cruz was apprehended about one mile from the school. According to NPR, he has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder at Broward County’s Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Do you think the FBI could have done more with their tip from Bennight? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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