FBI Failed To Investigate Tip On School Shooter

Feb 16, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ordering a review of the Justice Department's processes after the FBI failed to investigate a tip that the Florida school shooting suspect could be plotting an attack.

Sessions said Friday the shooting that killed 17 people was a "tragic consequence" of the FBI's failures. He said it's now clear that the nation's premier law enforcement agency missed warning signs. The FBI acknowledged it failed to act on a tip to its hotline that Nikolas Cruz had a "desire to kill."

The review will include a look at what went wrong and how the agency and Justice Department respond. Sessions says it may include "possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement."

The FBI received a specific report in January that the suspect in the Florida school shooting could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate the tip, the agency said Friday.

A person who was close to Nikola Cruz called the FBI's public tip line on Jan. 5 and provided information about Cruz's guns and his erratic behavior, including his expressed desire to kill people and his disturbing social media posts. The caller was concerned that Cruz could attack a school.

In a statement issued Friday, the agency acknowledged that the tip should have been shared with the FBI's Miami office and investigated, but it was not.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency was still reviewing its missteps. He said he was "committed to getting to the bottom of what happened," as well as assessing the way the FBI responds to information from the public.

"We have spoken with victims and families and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy," Wray said in the statement.

The FBI was also notified about a comment on a YouTube video posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" last year. It investigated the comment but did not determine who made it.

Cruz has been charged with killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, north of Miami.

Read more: Menacing Signs of Parkland School Shooter's Dark Descent Were Largely Unseen