The gunman accused of killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Wednesday may have been reported to the FBI months before the deadly massacre.
According to a BuzzFeed report, a bail bondsman and YouTube vlogger noted a disturbing comment on one of his videos from a YouTube user using the name Nikolas Cruz in September.
“I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” the comment read.
The vlogger, Ben Bennight, told BuzzFeed that he took a screenshot of the comment and contacted the FBI’s Mississippi bureau to report it, along with flagging it on YouTube.
“They [the FBI] came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed.
“I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”
Until Wednesday afternoon, when Special Agent Ryan Furr with the FBI’s Miami field office called Bennight and left him a voicemail message, which he shared with BuzzFeed.
“I think we spoke with you in the past about a complaint that you made about someone making a comment on your YouTube channel… I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that’s come up, if you wouldn’t mind giving me a ring.”
It is not clear if Bennight immediately returned the call, but he told BuzzFeed that FBI agents visited him in person a few hours later.
“They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn’t. I don’t,” Bennight said. “Then they left.”
BuzzFeed contacted the FBI for further comment, but a representative would not confirm if the YouTube commenter was the same person responsible for Wednesday’s mass shooting.
At a Thursday morning press conference, special agent Robert Lasky confirmed that the agency had not been able to positively link the comment to the shooter.
“No other information was included in the comment, which would indicate a time, location, or true identity of the person who made the comment,” he said.
“The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who made the comment.”
[Feature image: Associated Press]