The school shooting in Parkland, Florida that resulted in 17 deaths could have been prevented ‘if’ the FBI would have acted on a very credible tip about the shooter Nicolas Cruz.
According to a FBI press release about the shooting, the caller that place the call to the agency’s Public Access Line (PAL) stated that Cruz had a “desire to kill people” and showed “erratic behavior,” adding that due to a lapse in protocol, the tip was not forwarded to the Miami filed office and was never followed up on.
“On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller 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.
Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.
We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.”–FBI
FBI Director Christopher Wray made the following statement about his agency’s mistake:
“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.
“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. 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.”
Wray’s statement was not enough for Governor Rick Scott (R),who upon learning of the FBI’s admission of guilt, immediately called for his resignation.
“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,” Scott stated. “The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz’s ‘desire to kill people,’ and ‘the potential of him conducting a school shooting.’
“Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it.”
Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D) were also taken back over the law enforcement agency’s failure to follow their own investigatory protocols, prompting Rubio to call for both chambers of congress to “initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols.”
“It is inexcusable that the FBI failed to follow protocols and inform the Miami Field Office that people close to the Parkland, FL shooter warned the Bureau over a month ago of his desire to kill, his mental state, and erratic behavior. The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough.
Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through. Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel constantly remind the public that ‘if you see something, say something.’ In this tragic case, people close to the shooter said something, and our system utterly failed the families of seventeen innocent souls.”-Sen. Marco Rubio (R)