This is horrendous. The Broward County Sheriff’s office not only received 18 calls warning them about Nikolas Cruz, but at least a few of those calls over the last year warned that Cruz was a school shooter in the making:
USA TODAY – Broward County deputies received at least 18 calls warning them about Nikolas Cruz from 2008 to 2017, including concerns that he “planned to shoot up the school” and other threats and acts of violence before he was accused of killing 17 people at a high school.
The warnings, made by concerned people close to Cruz, came in phone calls to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, records show. At least five callers mentioned concern over his access to weapons, according to the documents. None of those warnings led to direct intervention.
In February 2016, neighbors told police that they were worried he “planned to shoot up the school” after seeing alarming pictures on Instagram showing Cruz brandishing guns.
About two months later, an unidentified caller told police that Cruz had been collecting guns and knives. The caller was “concerned (Cruz) will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making,” according to call details released by the Sheriff’s Office.
A second cousin asked police to take away Cruz’s guns after his mom died Nov. 1. “Nikolas is reported to have rifles and it is requested that (deputies) recover these weapons,” the dispatcher noted from the call.
The new details add to the growing list of red flags missed by law enforcement officials, including the FBI, in the months leading up to last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The FBI is reviewing why a tip last month called into the agency about Cruz’s desire to kill people was not forwarded to Miami agents for investigation.
After the February 2016 call, a deputy forwarded the information to the Stoneman Douglas School Resource Officer, Deputy Scot Peterson.
“Third hand information received from neighbor’s son that Nikolas Cruz planned to shoot up the school on Instagram (Picture of juvenile with guns),” according to the notes from a dispatcher taking the call.
The deputy had “determined Nikolas Cruz possessed knives and a BB gun” before passing it along to Peterson. It’s not clear what, if anything, Peterson did with the information.
Talk about dropping the ball. What a mess!
The FBI, local law enforcement, and the school resource officer all appear to have failed these students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What a damn shame.
But hey, let’s keep talking about banning guns because clearly that’s the only issue here that will fix this.
You know, I take back what I said earlier about my belief that the local sheriff’s department would have denied Cruz a gun purchase permit if that process existed down there. Clearly that’s not certain at all from the way this department runs things.
Also, so much for “if you see something say something.” It should now be “If we say something how about you do something!”