- The person who tipped off the FBI about the 19-year-old charged in the shooting at a Florida high school last week said she was worried he was “going to explode,” according to a transcript reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
- The FBI acknowledged last week that it failed to follow protocol in investigating the tip.
- The caller said she had also alerted local authorities to what she described as Cruz’s violent behavior but was unsure what happened to the investigation, The Journal reported.
The person who called the FBI’s tip line in January to warn about Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in last week’s shooting at a Florida high school, apparently told the bureau that he was “going to explode” and “get into a school and just shoot the place up.”
According to a transcript reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the caller was worried about Cruz and said she made the call because she wanted a “clear conscience.”
Authorities say Cruz used an AR-15 rifle to open fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week. They’ve charged him with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Just days after the shooting, the FBI acknowledged that it failed to follow protocol in forwarding the tip to the agency’s Miami field office for further investigation.
In the call, the woman said she believed Cruz had the mental capacity of a 12- or 14-year-old and had made a series of disturbing Instagram posts about wanting to kill himself, The Journal reported.
“Something is gonna happen,” she said. “Because he’s – he doesn’t have the mental capacity. He can’t – he’s so outraged if someone talks to him about certain things.”
She also said during the call that she told local police about Cruz’s behavior but was unsure about the status of that investigation, the Journal report says.
- Reuters/Michael Laughlin
Local authorities, particularly the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, have come under fire by critics who say they didn’t act on multiple warning signs about Cruz. Police had apparently visited Cruz’s home dozens of times in recent years, and he was said to have exhibited violent behavior or outbursts.
The woman who called the FBI described a series of disturbing incidents involving Cruz in which he would become violent with people or harm animals, according to The Journal.
“He brought the bird into the house,” she said. “He threw it on his mother’s kitchen counter and he started cutting it up. He has all kinds of hunting knives. I don’t know what knife he used, though. And he started cutting the bird up, and his mother … said, ‘What’re you doing?’ And he says, ‘I want to see what’s inside.'”
The caller said it was “alarming” to see his Instagram photos and “know what he’s capable of doing,” The Journal reported.
“He’s [been] thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn’t like the way they were talking to him,” she said.