A neighbor of the suspected gunman behind Wednesday’s fatal mass shooting at a Florida high school called 911 last year begging for authorities to do something about the teen who was bragging about buying a gun to commit violence at a school.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Joelle Guarino, a former neighbor of Nicholas Cruz, called police after seeing his social media posts claiming he was looking forward to buying a gun so he could shoot up a school.
“I was pleading with the police [officer]. I said, ‘Please, is there anything you can do?’” Joelle Guarino told the newspaper.
“He said basically no, when you’re 18 you have a right to bear arms, and there was pretty much nothing he could do.”
Guarino reportedly made the 911 call in February 2016. Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokesperson for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, told the Wall Street Journal that while she did not know all the details of the call, police would not have had probably cause to arrest Cruz.
“Officers cannot arrest an individual before an illegal act occurs, simply due to disturbing behavior or fears. Especially in this case where family advised he was already receiving mental-health treatment,” she said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, an unidentified person called the FBI on January 5 expressing a specific concern that Cruz may attempt to commit violence at a school based on his talk of guns and violence. The agency did not investigate the tip.
Cruz has been charged with homicides of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. All 17 people died as a result of gunshot wounds.
[Feature image: Nikolas Cruz/Police handout]