Florida Governor Rick Scott called on Friday for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign in the wake of revelations the bureau ignored a January 5 tip about Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 when he opened fire on Valentine's Day. The agency said earlier Thursday in a statement that it received a call in January from a person close to Cruz through its Public Access Line tip-line to express concerns about Cruz's erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.
That tip said that Cruz had a gun, wanted to “kill people” and there was the “potential of him conducting a school shooting.” It said that while that information should have been forwarded to the Miami FBI field office, it was not, and no further investigation was conducted.
Cruz allegedly walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition before firing an AR-15 at students and faculty members.
“We are still investigating the facts. 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, Wray said in the statement. 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.
But Scott said Wray must resign, saying 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,” he said in a statement.
“We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. ‘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.”
Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday and is being held without bail. Additionally, the FBI confirmed on Thursday the bureau received a tip in September about a disturbing YouTube comment by a user named “Nikolas Cruz” that said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
Special Agent Rob Lasky, in charge of the FBI’s Miami division, said the agency investigated the comment, but said it could not identify the user who made the comment. He also said there was no connection found to South Florida.
On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said it was inexcusable that the FBI failed to follow protocols that could have prevented Wednesday's shooting. The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough. Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through,” Rubio said in a statement.