In what has become a disturbing trend among mass shootings in recent years, the FBI has admitted that they were aware of the threat posed to a Florida high school yesterday.
The peaceful Wednesday afternoon environment of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was shattered not once, but twice yesterday as a fire alarm first sent students into a heightened state of alert. As they began to move toward the exits, some dawdling on account of the possibility of this being yet another drill, shots began to ring out.
Chaos ensued, and now 17 are dead and dozens more injured.
In the aftermath of the shooting, a young man by the name of Nikolas Cruz, who was only 19 years of age, was apprehended as the suspect in the shooting, and a clear picture of Cruz’s demeanor was swiftly unearthed.
Students who were familiar with Nikolas were not surprised to find that their former classmate was behind the atrocity, claiming to have seen it coming from a mile away.
“’Honestly, a lot of people were saying that it was gonna be him,’ one student told WJXT of Cruz. ‘Actually, a lot of kids joked… saying that he was gonna be the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out, you know, everyone predicted it, that’s crazy.’
“The student added: ‘He was in the third floor. He knows the school layout, he knows where everyone would be… he’s been in the fire drills. He’s prepared for this stuff.’
“Another student told WFOR-TV that Cruz ‘always had guns on him.’
“’He was off,’ Giovanni Watford, 17, told BuzzFeed News. ‘He was super stressed-out all the time and talked about guns a lot and tried to hide his face.’
“Watford told the site he had been in the same Junior ROTC program as Cruz and that Cruz would complain about bullying at Douglas High.”
As if this convenient ignorance of these warning signs wasn’t enough, Cruz had already been reported to the FBI over a threat that the disturbed teen made on YouTube.
“Ben Bennight, a bail bondsman in Mississippi who posts video blogs on YouTube, knew something was amiss when someone named Nikolas Cruz posted ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter’ in the comments section of one of his videos in September, BuzzFeed News reported Thursday.
“An FBI agent based in Miami on Wednesday revisited Bennight’s tip and called him to ask whether he had any additional information about the YouTube comment, Bennight said in a video he posted that night. Then, he said, the FBI in Mississippi again came to speak with him.”
This lapse of protocol by the FBI is far from the first time that the agency has missed dire warning signs in the buildup to a mass shooting.
Omar Mateen, the shooter responsible for the Pulse Nightclub massacre of 2016 was similarly reported to the FBI after attempting to purchase thousands of rounds of ammunition at a Florida gun shop. The FBI, for unknown reasons, were unable to stop Mateen from carrying out his atrocities just months later, even with the highly detailed report from the concerned small business owner.