'FBI director needs to resign,' Gov. Rick Scott says after FBI admits to failing to investigate tip
FBI director says he's 'committed to getting to bottom of what happened'
PARKLAND, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott called on the FBI director to resign Friday after the bureau admitted that it failed to investigate a tip in January about the Parkland school shooting suspect.
"The FBI's failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable," Scott said in a statement. "The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz's 'desire to kill people,' and 'the potential of him conducting a school shooting.'
"Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it. An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need."
Cruz, 19, faces 17 counts of premeditated murder in connection with the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The FBI confirmed Friday that a tipster who was close to Cruz called the FBI on Jan. 5 and provided information about Cruz's guns, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.
FBI officials said the caller expressed concerns Cruz could attack a school.
Robert Lasky, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Miami field office, said agents in the Miami field office were never notified about the tip.
"The FBI has determined that protocol was not followed. The information was not provided to the Miami field office and no further investigation was conducted at that time," Lasky said Friday at a news conference. "We will conduct an in-depth review of our internal procedures for responding to information that is provided by the public."
The FBI was also notified about a comment on a YouTube video posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" last year.
"The comment simply said, 'I'm going to be a professional school shooter,'" Lasky said Thursday. "No other information was included with that comment, which would indicate a time, location or true identity of the person who made that comment."
Lasky said the FBI was unable to identify who made the remark.
A statement released Friday by the FBI said that the most recent tip should've been investigated thoroughly and forwarded to the Miami field office because it was a potential threat to life.
"We are still investigating the facts," FBI Director Christopher Wray said. "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. 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."
Scott said the FBI's admissions Friday aren't enough.
"We constantly promote 'see something, say something,' and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act," Scott said. "'See something, say something' is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI director needs to resign."
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has since ordered a review of the FBI and Justice Department procedures following the bureau's failure to investigate the tip.
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