Funerals begin in Florida as details emerge of prior warnings about school shooter


Funerals begin in Florida as details emerge of prior warnings about school shooter

Patrick Martin

17 February 2018

The first funerals were held Thursday and Friday for several of the 17 students and staff killed in the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

The shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was arraigned before a local judge on Friday, saying nothing in court except to indicate he had understood the proceeding. He reportedly spoke freely to local police after he was arrested, admitting responsibility for the bloodbath. His lawyers are not disputing his role as the shooter, stating only that he is severely mentally ill and had suffered several recent emotional traumas. One described Cruz as “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken,” and said he is on suicide watch.

Police have said that there is no indication that anyone else participated in the planning or the execution of the attack on Douglas High School, or that anyone was even aware of Cruz’s specific intentions.

What has become clear over the past 24 hours is that the FBI had considerable information on Cruz, including a telephone tip only six weeks before the shooting rampage that warned he might carry out an attack on a school, but failed to take any action.

The agency admitted Friday morning in a public statement that the telephone tip came in on January 5, 2018, reporting concerns about Cruz based on his “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” The FBI described the person making the phone call as an adult and “a person close to Nikolas Cruz,” but did not otherwise identify the caller.

This was the second telephone alert given to the FBI…

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