More than a month before the shooting rampage at a South Florida high school, the FBI received a warning that the 19-year-old charged in the massacre might carry out an attack at a school, but investigators failed to act, the Washington Post reports. The disclosure came two days after Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at his former high school in Parkland, Fl. The FBI got a tip Jan. 5 from “a person close to Nikolas Cruz” … “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,” the bureau said. Such a warning should have been investigated “as a potential threat to life,” but “these protocols were not followed” and no further inquiries were made, the bureau said. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to review the case. “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Sessions said. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.” He added, “The FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks. This is imperative, and we must do better.”
The FBI had already been under fire for its response to a different tip about Cruz. A Mississippi bail bondsman told agents in September that a YouTube user with the handle “nikolas cruz” had commented on a video “Im going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI said it could not identify the person who left the comment. This was the third time in as many years that a mass shooter who terrorized Floridians had come to the bureau’s attention beforehand, a fact sure to increase scrutiny of how the FBI monitors potential threats.