In terms of dealing with Nikolas Cruz, there were lots and lots of opportunity for early intervention. People “saw something, said something” multiple times over the past four years.
- 2014: Cruz was accused of shooting a chicken four years ago. It was confirmed he owned and used an airsoft rifle, but he denied shooting chickens.
- 2016: The sheriff’s office for Broward County, Florida, was told third-hand that Cruz had guns. They determined he had knives and a BB gun. The School Resource Officer was a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school was informed.
- 2016: Cruz was investigated by the SRO for ingesting gasoline and cutting himself in a suicide attempt. A counselor advised he did not meet criteria for involuntary commitment for the mentally ill.
- 2016: Florida’s social services agency looked into Cruz after he posted on social media about self-harm and assessed him not at risk of harming either himself or others.
- 2017: The FBI got a tip five months ago about a profession school shooter comment on Youtube. There are dozens of people with this name all over the country and almost a dozen in Florida. I’d think the only way to pursue it would be to get a warrant, but before the incident, this is not a warrant many judges would grant.
- 2018: The FBI got a tip one month ago about Cruz specifically talked of committing a school shooting which it did not investigate.
- 2018: The SRO deputy was not near the building when Cruz started shooting. And waited outside.
It seems like for every person claiming this kid was bad news there were a couple dismissing the concerns as overblown. I mean, his mother died a couple months after the Youtube “profession school shooter” comment. The couple who took him in knew he owned multiple guns but felt he was safe and happy and thought they had the only key to the gun safe. They also had no idea about his social media use.