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Federal Bureau of Investigation was warned last fall about school shooting comments
16 February 2018, 04:55 | Shelley Chandler
Nikolas Cruz Instagram
Kerik, who served as police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks, referred to an article on Thursday that said a YouTube user named "Nikolas Cruz" had announced last September: "I'm going to be a professional school shooter".
Ben Bennight, the 36-year-old vlogger who'd uploaded the video, was alarmed enough that he brought the comment to YouTube's attention and also on September 24 sent a screenshot of it to the FBI's field office in his home state of Mississippi.
"I think in today's online world, it is very hard to narrow down who does what without more information", Bennight told CNN's Jake Tapper later Thursday, "and unfortunately, I wasn't able to provide them with much".
On Wednesday, a 19-year-old by the same name allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, killing 17 people and injuring numerous others. "The FBI conducted database reviews and other checks, but was unable to further identify the person who posted the comment". It also outlines a procedure by which law enforcement authorities can obtain the information.
According to a biannual transparency report published by Google, in the latter half of 2017, USA law enforcement - a large category that includes both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state and local police agencies - requested information on Google accounts between 500 and 999 times. The comment was made by a YouTube user by the name of Nikolas Cruz.
Bennight told Pegues he spoke with the FBI Wednesday night again for about 20 minutes.
Cruz was expelled from the school previous year for fighting and was known for posting "menacing social media posts", according to USA Today.
In a written release to WLOX News Now, the FBI's MS field office confirmed that they received information about the comment last fall but couldn't identify the person who posted it.
Bennight told Buzzfeed that the agents asked him if he knew Cruz, but he did not. Two FBI agents visited Bennight the next morning. "They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them".