Gov. Rick Scott is calling for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher A. Wray after learning the bureau received a warning that the 19-year-old charged in Wednesday’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland might carry out an attack at a school. The tip was received more than a month before the incident, but investigators never acted on the warning.
“Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” Scott said in a written statement released by his office Friday afternoon. “An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need.”
News of the tip comes two days after authorities say Nikolas Cruz stormed into his former high school and gunned down 17 people, mostly students.
FBI officials acknowledged it had received a call on its public tip line “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.” The agency also admitted the warning should have been investigated “as a potential threat to life.”
“We are still investigating the facts,” Wray said in a statement. “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.”
“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,” Scott responded. “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.’
Sen. Marco Rubio responded by calling for Congressional investigations into the FBI’s protocols. Rubio called the agency’s failure to act on the tip, “inexcusable.”
The news comes a day after the FBI came under question for how it responded to a different tip regarding Cruz that came from a Mississippi bail bondsman. The man informed agents in September that a YouTube user with the handle “nikolas cruz” had commented on a video. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” the message said. The FBI said it could not identify the person who left the comment.
It was Friday’s acknowledgement by the FBI that it failed to act on the second tip that angered Scott.
“We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act,” Scott added. “‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign.”