AP NEWS – FBI Statement ~~
It was a sound that cut to the core, the wail of a mother who had paced the floor and prayed for her missing child to be delivered back to her but who went home with her arms empty and her heart broken.
“It was a cry that pierced the heavens,” said Rabbi Moshe Rabin, recalling the moment he stood with Lori Alhadeff as officers broke the news that her daughter, Alyssa, 14, was among those killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The pain of America’s latest mass shooting deepened last night when the FBI revealed that it had failed to act on a tip-off received six weeks ago that the gunman may have been preparing a mass slaughter.
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 (Feb. 16).
A tipster who was close to Nikolas Cruz called the FBI 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 investigated thoroughly.
In the statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray said he is “committed to getting to the bottom of what happened” and that his agency must “must act properly and quickly” when contacted by the public.
The FBI statement, in full:
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 Director Christopher Wray said:
“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.”
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.