Amid the fallout from the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead, the FBI and local law enforcement received widespread criticism for their inability to prevent the shooting despite multiple warning signs and opportunities. On Tuesday, the FBI admitted these failures to the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing focused on how the bureau handled tips about Nikolas Cruz prior to the massacre.
FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich met with members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, acknowledging that, as the House Judiciary Committee’s press release put it, “opportunities were missed.”
In September 2017, the FBI received an Internet tip from a video blogger about a threatening comment posted to a YouTube video the blogger had posted. The comment stated, ‘I am going to be a professional school shooter,’ and was posted under the username ‘nikolas cruz.’
According to the hearing, an FBI office in Mississippi received that tip, but after officials investigated it, they closed the case because “it lacked personal identifiable information on the user who posted the threatening comment” (the username “nikolas cruz” was evidently not enough for the agents to go on).