The lone gunman behind this months’ devastating attack on a south Florida high school reported himself to law enforcement just after Thanksgiving, telling officials he was “struggling” in the wake of his mother’s death just weeks before.
According to the New York Times, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz placed the call after physically assaulting a friend in late November; saying “The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now.”
Those familiar with the message say he sounded “child-like” and “out of breath.”
The red flag is just one of several warning signs missed by federal and local authorities. The FBI is under fire over another highly specific tip made just weeks before Cruz’s rampage, with a family friend telling authorities the former student may go “into a school and just shoot the place up.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department is under similar scrutiny after reports that an armed Deputy refused to enter the school during the shooting, opting to wait for back-up and other law enforcement to arrive on the scene.
Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th; killing seventeen people and injuring dozens before being arrested nearly a mile from the site of the mass shooting.
FLORIDA FURY: Gov. Scott SLAMS FBI, Demands Answers Over BOTCHED School Shooting Tip
Florida Governor Rick Scott called-on the FBI to publicly release information provided to the bureau just weeks before 19-year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at a local high school; blasting the agency’s “inexcusable inaction” after it received specific information about the gunman.
Gov. Scott’s office released a statement Monday on the bureau’s “mishandling” of specific intelligence relating to Cruz, with one tip saying the shooter “possessed weapons” and may be in the final stages of planning a “school shooting.”
“Last week, our state and nation was shocked to learn of the FBI’s inexcusable inaction after receiving a tip informing them of Cruz’s desire to carry out a school shooting,” said Scott. “The FBI’s failure to initiate an investigation raises many questions, and the victims’ families deserve answers now.”
“Last week, I called on Director Wray to resign, and the FBI should release all records involving this terrible error. People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings and put off what truly needs to be done. Instead, someone needs to be held accountable,” he added.
The Governor’s comments come days after FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly admitted that his agency failed to follow “proper procedure” after it received information Cruz was planning his attack; pledging to prevent similar inactivity in the future.
AMERICAN HEROES: Florida Survivors Used BULLET PROOF SHEETS to Protect Fellow Students
Two survivors at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in southern Florida used “Kevlar sheets” from a Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps course to help shield their fellow students from a hail of gunfire; saving countless lives and untold injuries during the mass shooting.
The students spoke with Tampa’s Fox affiliate, discussing their plan to protect those around them when they began to “hear the pops” as 19-year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students at the local high school.
“I heard the pops, I heard the fire drill, and I knew there was a shooter,” said one student. “I looked at all the kids behind me, just looking at me frozen, and I yelled to them ‘Run back to the classroom, go back now!”
“In our JROTC program, we have a team that’s called marksmanship, so our backdrop for the targets that we shoot are actually kevlar sheets that we hang,” he added. “We put everybody behind them. That way they were all at least somewhat safe because the kevlar—it wouldn’t have stopped a bullet, but it would have slowed it down a lot so that the damage someone would have received from it, God forbid, would have been a lot less.”
Watch the heroes’ comments above.