- BBC News World
A tip received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that Nikolas Cruz “was going to explode.”
The young man had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2017. And he had problematic behavior that raised suspicions from many who knew him.
But when they received a tip about Cruz, the FBI authorities did not follow up on the case.
On February 14, 2018, on Valentine’s Day, the 19-year-old returned to his old school and opened fire indiscriminately, killing 17 people and injuring an equal number, among students and school employees.
Now the families of the fatalities have announced that they have reached an agreement whereby the FBI, through the US Department of Justice, must pay between US $ 125 million and US $ 130 million As a reward.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the settlement, once finalized, will mark “an important step” toward justice.
What did the FBI know?
The Parkland shootings were one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.
The victims’ parents argued in a 2018 lawsuit that the authorities had not acted on the leads they received which indicated that Cruz had expressed his desire to carry out a school attack.
They also reported that the young man had a hiding place to store weapons.
A month before the attack, a woman had warned on the FBI hotline that the young man “Was going to explode”.
The FBI acknowledged that had not followed up on the complaint, which gave information about “Cruz’s possession of weapons, the desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing posts on social networks” of the young man.
Also “the potential for him to carry out a school shooting.”
The authorities also received a call that alerted, in 2017, about a message left by someone identified on YouTube with the name Nikolas Cruz.
“I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”said the comment on a YouTube video, said Robert Lawsky of the FBI’s Miami division.
“The FBI conducted database reviews, verifications, but couldn’t identify the person who actually made the comment“Lawsky explained after the attack in Parkland.
Justice Department officials did not immediately comment on the damages agreement, the details of which were confirmed by CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, and other US outlets.
Previously, the Parkland families settled last month for a US $ 25 million settlement with the Broward County school district in a lawsuit accusing it of negligence.
Attorneys for the families filed nearly two dozen legal actions in the wake of the attack.
Cruz pleaded guilty last month of 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. You are facing a possible death sentence.
Other earlier signs
Cruz had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2017 “for disciplinary reasons”, according to said at the time the sheriff of the county of Broward, Scott Israel.
Students and staff later described him as a troubled young man and an “outcast.”
A student at the school told CBS in 2018 that Cruz was “a troublesome kid,” and said that he always “carried weapons with him” that he had no qualms about showing the rest of the students.
“I was crazy about guns”, told the agency Reuters Chad Williams, an 18-year-old who shared a classroom with Cruz years ago and whom he defined as “a person who didn’t have many friends.”
He had previously been investigated by local police and the Department of Children and Family Services after posting self-harm videos on Snapchat.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.