BuzzFeed is reporting that the FBI had been warned about Florida school killer Nikolas Cruz’s homicidal tendencies…
Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named Nikolas Cruz.
The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment to the bureau’s tips account. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.
Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.
“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.”
FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people.
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Though his name matches the YouTube user flagged in September, FBI officials would not say whether they have confirmed that the account belonged to Cruz.
But around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday — about 30 minutes after Cruz was taken into custody by police in Broward County — Special Agent Ryan Furr with the FBI’s Miami field office called Bennight and left him a voicemail.
According to Zerohedge, when contacted by BuzzFeed News, FBI special agent Furr declined to comment on the call, and directed questions about the shooting to the FBI’s public affairs office. The office did did not respond to multiple calls or emails Wednesday night.
The Nikolas Cruz YouTube account remained active until Wednesday evening. It has since been deleted, however, due to “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy on violence.” YouTube did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ questions about the account.
In the wake of the deadly shooting, questions have emerged over whether authorities, officials and acquaintances had missed warning signs about the alleged shooter, and why this clearly troubled teenager was allowed to slip through the cracks.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.