“Feb. 5, 2016: a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy is told by an anonymous caller that Nikolas Cruz, then 17, had threatened on Instagram to shoot up his school and posted a photo of himself with guns,” miamiherald.com reports. “The information is forwarded to BSO Deputy Scot Peterson, a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” Yes, you read right . . .
the same Scot Peterson who stood outside the school for four minutes while Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and wounded 14 others knew Cruz’s intentions to commit a spree killing almost two years to the day before Cruz launched his attack.
In November 2017, “a caller from Massachusetts calls BSO to report that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and could be a ‘school shooter in the making.'” The Herald reports that an unidentified Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy “advises the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.” And . . . that’s it.
The fresh revelations add fuel to the pyre of the FBI, the federal agency that failed to act on specific, credible information warning them that Nikolas Cruz planned on attacking Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School.
In fact, the deadly shooting was the end result of a cascade of government failure. The Herald compiled a timeline of the missed opportunities to intercept the spree killer and remove him from society. That is, the ones we know about so far . . .
Feb. 5, 2016: A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy is told by an anonymous caller that Nikolas Cruz, then 17, had threatened on Instagram to shoot up his school and posted a photo of himself with guns. The information is forwarded to BSO Deputy Scot Peterson (the same officer that failed to act during the shooting), a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Sept. 23, 2016: A “peer counselor” reports to Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advises against involuntary committing Cruz. The high school says it will conduct a threat assessment.
Sept. 28, 2016: An investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families rules Cruz is stable, despite “fresh cuts” on his arms. His mother, Lynda Cruz, says in the past he wrote a racial slur against African Americans on his book bag and had recently talked of buying firearms.
Sept. 24, 2017: A YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” posts a comment stating he wants to become a “professional school shooter.” The comment is reported to the FBI in Mississippi, which fails to make the connection to Cruz in South Florida.
Nov. 1, 2017: Katherine Blaine, Lynda Cruz’s cousin, calls BSO to report that Nikolas Cruz had weapons and asks that police recover them. A “close family friend” agrees to take the firearms, according to BSO.
Nov. 29, 2017: The Palm Beach County family that took in Cruz after the death of his mother calls the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between him and their son, 22. A member of the family says Cruz had threatened to “get his gun and come back” and that he has “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The family does not want him arrested once he calms down.
Nov. 30, 2017: A caller from Massachusetts calls BSO to report that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and could be a “school shooter in the making.” A BSO deputy advises the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.
Jan. 5, 2018: A caller to the FBI’s tip line reports that Cruz has “a desire to kill people” and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information is never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.
Feb. 14, 2018: Nikolas Cruz attacks Stoneman Douglas High. Peterson, the school’s resource officer, draws his gun outside the building where Cruz is shooting students and staff. He does not enter.
Note: this timeline does not include the 39 times Broward County cop responded to complaints about Mr. Cruz’s behavior.
During the CNN gun control “Town Hall,” Sheriff Israel told NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, “I understand you’re standing up for the NRA and I understand that’s what you’re supposed to do. But you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.’” The crowd cheered.
Given the importance of armed defenders in our schools, what we now know about Sheriff Israel’s department and the civility of CNN’s kangaroo court, the crowd should have booed. Before Sheriff Israel started speaking.