While the nation mourns the slain and injured from Wednesday’s Parkland, Fla. high school shooting, the FBI faces heated scrutiny.
In a press briefing on Thursday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Lasky confirmed reports that the Bureau was warned about a disturbing 2017 Youtube comment possibly written by Stoneman Douglas High School shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz. Lasky said the FBI was unable to identify the Youtube user at the time.
FBI Special Agent in Charge, Robert Lasky, addresses @bri_sacks scoop about the FBI being warned about a comment about school violence from the shooter’s name in September.
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) February 15, 2018
“In 2017 the FBI received information about a comment made on a Youtube channel,” Lasky told reporters. “The comment simply said, ‘I am going to be a professional school shooter.’
“No other information was included with that comment which would indicate a time, location, or the true identity of the person who made the comment. The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment.”
A reporter later asked Lasky if the FBI could confirm that the author of the Youtube comment, who went by the username “Nikolas Cruz,” was the same Nikolas Cruz currently suspected of killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen others at the Parkland high school, the Washington Examiner reported.
“We do not know if it is the same person,” Lasky responded.
“We did our database checks, we could not positively identify him,” the FBI agent added. “We‘re going back, we’re scrubbing the information, we’re looking at it again.”
Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Mississippi-based Youtuber Ben Bennight informed the FBI in September about the comment, which read “I am going to be a professional school shooter.”
Bennight was briefly questioned by the FBI at the time, and then did not hear back from them until agents reached out to him after the shooting on Wednesday.
The suspect, 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, is in custody at the Broward County Jail, charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, The Associated Press reports.
He is being held without bond.