The FBI reportedly had information concerning the Parkland school shooter months before the incident, with the insidious young man telling a YouTube blogger that he was going to be a “professional school shooter.”
Described as a “troubled kid,” 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz is currently charged with premeditated murder for the 17 lives he took on Valentine’s Day when he entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida’s Broward County.
For many, the signs had been there all along- both people familiar with Cruz and law enforcement were aware of the young man’s issues and tendencies, behavioral patterns that often make up a cookie-cutter profile of a mass shooter.
In fact, the FBI were made aware of Cruz’s intent after YouTube blogger Ben Bennight alerted them to a comment made by Cruz, with the shooter commenting, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
While the Mississippi FBI field office got back to the blogger immediately, Bennight said there wasn’t much follow-up.
“They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”
This, of course, was in September of last year- months before the shooting actually took place.
However, it wouldn’t take an FBI agent to reveal Cruz as a disturbed young man- between his social media accounts and firsthand accounts from those who knew him, it should surprise no one that he might be capable of something so atrocious. Even more troubling, of course, if the fact that not many people spoke up about him.
Popular Military reported that a parent of a former student who went to school with Cruz -who is now attending the University of Central Florida- said his son told him that if there were any of his classmates that he thought would end up doing something like this it would have been Cruz.
As the country comes to a crossroads on what to do about mass shootings, one thing seems to remain painfully clear- for a majority of the incidents, many people -including law enforcement- had seen warning signs well in advance.
In the words of Republican Senator Marco Rubio: “In days ahead, [we] will become increasingly evident that killer in today’s #FloridaSchoolShooting gave plenty of indications of what was to come.”