FBI acknowledges it didn't investigate tip on Florida shooter

FBI says it received a tip last month that Nikola Cruz had a "desire to kill" but agents failed to investigate.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Police patrol near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Police patrol near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

The FBI acknowledged on Friday it received a tip last month that the suspect in the Florida school shooting had a "desire to kill" and access to guns and could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate.

A person who was close to the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, called the FBI's tip line on January 5 and provided information about Cruz's weapons and his erratic behavior, including his disturbing social media posts, reported The Associated Press.

The caller was concerned that Cruz could attack a school.

In a statement, the FBI acknowledged that the tip should have been shared with the FBI's Miami office and investigated, but it was not. The admission came as the agency was already facing criticism for its treatment of a tip about a YouTube comment posted last year. The comment posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" said, "Im going to be a professional school shooter."

The FBI investigated the remark but did not determine who made it.

Cruz was charged on Thursday with killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, north of Miami.

He confessed to being the shooter, telling interrogating officers that he "began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds" on Wednesday afternoon.

Cruz also told officers he "brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault."

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Friday the agency was still reviewing its missteps on the January tip. 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 quoted by AP.

Of the 17 victims in Wednesday’s massacre, five have been identified as Jews, a spokesperson for the ZAKA emergency response group reported Thursday. A sixth was wounded in the melee.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)