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jueves, 15 de febrero de 2018

Report: the FBI was warned about the Florida school shooter

On Wednesday, a 19-year-old former student opened fire in a high school in Broward County, Florida, killing 17 people and wounding another 15. As is the often the case in the aftermath of an incident like this, people are trying to make sense of how a disturbed person was able to plan and execute such a monstrous act.

In this case, it appears that the failure to act on known information is at least partially responsible. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter, was already known to the FBI for a comment he posted online announcing his intent to be a “professional school shooter.”

Long-Term Premeditation

As far back as last fall, the FBI knew Cruz was a threat to those around him. Ben Bennight, a bail bondsman, and YouTube video blogger, saw a terrifying comment from Cruz on one of his own videos.

“I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” the comment read, causing Bennight to contact the FBI. Agents showed up at his office the next day to talk to him and that, Bennight says, “was the last I heard from them”—until Wednesday, that is, after Cruz’ deadly rampage.

The FBI contacted the bail bondsman again Wednesday afternoon, leaving him a voicemail about last fall’s report—and a few hours later, visiting his office again.

“They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn’t. I don’t,” said Bennight.

Cruz’s comment on Bennight’s video shows that his lethal intent was exhibited well in advance of the incident. In that time, the FBI was well aware of both Cruz’s existence and his desire for mass murder. Shockingly, nothing was done.

The Portrait of a Shooter

FBI agents weren’t the only people who knew that Nikolas Cruz was a danger to those around him. He had been expelled from school the previous year for violent behavior.

In fact, one math teacher who had had Cruz in his class said that Cruz was known for repeatedly threatening students.

A math teacher at the school recalls Cruz’s reputation. The Miami Herald Reports:

We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.

Fellow students told local news WJXT that Cruz was being mocked and made fun of at school.

According to one 2016 graduate, Cruz was “tired…of everyone picking on him and the staff doing nothing about it.”

Other students said that “everyone predicted” that Cruz would end up “shooting up the school.” The FBI, however, never followed up—and now, 17 people are dead.