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FBI Failed to Act on Tip about Suspected Florida School Shooter

by Countable | 2.16.18

What’s the story?

A month before the mass shooting at a Florida high school, the FBI received a tip about the suspected gunman and his "desire to kill people"—but investigators failed to act on it.

Why does it matter?

In a statement released on Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said:

"On January 5, 2018, a person close to [suspected shooter] 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 bureau protocols, the caller’s information "should have been assessed as a potential threat to life" and forwarded to the Miami Field Office.

"We have determined these protocols were not followed," the FBI said.

"We are still investigating the facts," Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said in the 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.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) lambasted the FBI and called on Wray to resign:

"Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it. 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."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered his deputy AG to review the FBI’s handling of this case.

What do you think?

Should Wray resign? Should Congress launch their own investigation? Should the FBI have a better system for handling tips? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Politico via Twitter)

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