YouTube User Who Reported Disturbing Comment by 'Nikolas Cruz' to FBI Speaks Out
An FBI official on Thursday confirmed the bureau received a tip months before the Florida high school massacre about a disturbing YouTube comment by a user named "Nikolas Cruz": "I'm going to be a professional school shooter."
Special Agent Rob Lasky, in charge of the FBI’s Miami division, confirmed during a Thursday morning news conference the agency investigated a comment made on a YouTube video in September that matched the remark reported by vlogger Ben Bennight.
After conducting database reviews, however, the FBI said it could not identify the user who made the comment, according to Lasky. He also said that there was no connection found to South Florida.
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is accused of killing 17 people in one of the nation's deadliest school shootings.
On "The Story," Bennight said he reported the comment to the local FBI field office after it "caught his attention," and agents were sent out to interview him.
"They were very responsive. They came out, very polite, professional. They got the information, they got a copy of the screenshot, wrote down information," he said. "And I imagine they initiated their investigation from there."
He said he didn't make the connection that he may have flagged the gunman to the FBI until he was contacted by a special agent after the shooting.
"It was disturbing that somebody would write something like that, but I never would have thought that they meant it," Bennight said.
He said if he did indeed flag Cruz to law enforcement, he wishes something could have been done to prevent Wednesday's tragedy, but he also understands how difficult it can be to identify someone based on very little information.
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