Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect 'going to explode'
WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and just shooting the place up."
The Associated Press today obtained a transcript of the Jan. 5 tip to the FBI's call center. The FBI acknowledged it failed to investigate the tip about 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, but the transcript provides the fullest glimpse yet into the seriousness of the woman's concerns.
"I know he's going to explode," she told the call-taker.
The FBI briefed congressional staff Friday about its failure to act on the alarming tip, as well as why it did not delve into a September 2017 YouTube comment posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" that said, "Im going to be a professional school shooter." The FBI linked the January call to the report of the YouTube comment, but an FBI intake specialist and a supervisor at the call center took no further action, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's office said Friday.
Google, which owns YouTube, also briefed congressional staffers.
The tips were among a series of what authorities now describe as the clearest missed warning signs that Cruz, who had a history of disturbing behavior, posed a serious threat. The FBI declined to comment on the transcript, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
During the phone call, which spanned more than 13 minutes, the woman described a teenager prone to anger with the "mental capacity of a 12 to 14 year old" that deteriorated after his mother died last year. She pointed the FBI to several Instagram accounts where Cruz had posted photos of sliced-up animals and rifles and ammunition he apparently purchased with money from his mother's life insurance policy.