PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS News) — The FBI said in statement Friday that it had received a tip about Nikolas Cruz, the suspected Florida school shooter, but failed to investigate the report.
A person close to Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line reporting Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill others, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts, the statement said.
“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken,” the statement said.
Cruz has been charged on 17 counts of premeditated murder after being questioned by state and federal authorities. He’s accused of killing 17 people and injuring 15 others.
“We are still investigating the facts. I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.
Wray added, “It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.”
Authorities have not described any specific motive, except to say that Cruz had been kicked out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which has about 3,000 students and serves an affluent suburb where the median home price is nearly $600,000. Students who knew him described a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships.
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A law enforcement source tells CBS News authorities recovered at least three more weapons at the home where Cruz was living. The firearms were seized by law enforcement during an execution of court authorized search warrant of the residence. Police said Cruz was also equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition.
It is unclear whether Cruz was the purchaser of the weapons, and authorities said Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 used in the school massacre one year ago.