Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to release all details regarding a tip received by the agency in early January warning the agency about suspicious behavior by Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old accused of last week’s mass school shooting in Parkland.
Seventeen students and faculty were killed and 15 others were injured in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
It was learned Friday that the FBI had received a warning about Cruz’s behavior on January 5 of this year. The person who made the tip warned of “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.” But, the agency never followed through with the information.
“Last week, our state and nation was shocked to learn of the FBI’s inexcusable inaction after receiving a tip informing them of Cruz’s desire to carry out a school shooting,” Scott said in a statement. “The FBI’s failure to initiate an investigation raises many questions, and the victims’ families deserve answers now. Today, I am calling on the FBI to immediately release all details surrounding the Bureau’s failure to act on a tip it received, including all details and protocols.”
After learning of the tip and the FBI’s failure to act on it, Scott on Friday called for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“Last week, I called on Director Wray to resign, and the FBI should release all records involving this terrible error,” said Scott. “People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings and put off what truly needs to be done. Instead, someone needs to be held accountable.”
Wray has not stepped down. He said Friday he spoke with victims and families of the shooting and issued an apology.
“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy,” Wray said last week. “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.”
Last month’s tip was received on the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline. The agency said that under established protocols, the information should have been assessed and determined to be “a potential threat to life.” Officials say the information should have been forwarded to the FBI’s Miami Field Office to take appropriate measures.The information was never forwarded.
“We are still investigating the facts,” Wray said Friday. “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.”