Screen Shot from YouTube video comment left by Nikolas Cruz

“Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in Wednesday’s horrific massacre at a Florida high school, was allegedly reported to the FBI in September after he left a comment on a bail bondsman’s YouTube channel saying that he was going to be a ‘professional school shooter,'” thegatewaypundit.com reports. Here’s a video from the bondsman, Ben Bennight, where he details the sequence of events . . .

“I looked up the number to my local field office and I called and left them a message. The next day I had two FBI agents standing in my office taking down the information and copies of the screenshot. They were asking me questions that of course I couldn’t answer. All it was on my channel was a comment, people leave pretty heinous comments on a pretty regular basis,” Bennight says in the video.

Bennight didn’t hear anything more from the FBI until yesterday, after Cruz opened fire on Parkland, Florida’s high school. Agents visited the Mississippi bail bondsman to ask him for more information.

“I would like to think they were already investigating this guy and they had him at the top of their radar and that’s how they ended up contacting me so quickly,” Bennight says. “I wish I could have given them more information, but it was just a comment on my channel.”

So the feds knew about Cruz’s desire to shoot up a school — however preliminary or fanciful his plan was at the time of posting. What did the Fibbies do about it, exactly? Clearly — through concluded retroactively — not enough.

Keep in mind that the FBI also had Florida Pulse spree killer Omar Mateen on their radar before his attack. While remembering that all Americans should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

58 COMMENTS

  1. I hate to play devil’s advocate but that’s not a crime. He didn’t make a threat towards a specific person or group of persons, and it’s kinda late for the party van to be showing up asking questions after the fact. Put it into a different context and it could sound like he’s in some sort of professional training, a school if you will, learning how to be a shooter. They do exist. It goes without saying that talking to the police is never in your best interest either, you stand to gain nothing.

    • You’re correct that posting such a comment is not a crime. However, it is probable cause to investigate whether or not that person is _planning_ such a shooting, which is a crime.

      • Probable cause means probable cause to make an arrest, the suspect has committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion is what you’re referring to, more than a hunch, it’s reason to question the person. Other than asking questions there isn’t much they can do, pending the outcome. Whether the person chooses to cooperate or take the fifth and tell the investigators to pound sand is up to him or her. I hate to repeat myself but again, there is never a good time to talk to the police because it will never serve in your best interest. If the police/federal government/whoever had to follow up every stupid/vague/non-specific comment made on the internet, they would never have time for anything else. I hear something like that at least 75 times a day on grand theft auto online but, it’s just talk.

      • And their investigation might have turned up no evidence that it was more than just internet trolling.
        They can’t keep watching everyone who makes one threat for the rest of his life. It would be both illegal and prohibitively expensive.

        Armed guards at every entrance and special training for teachers/staff who wish to carry on school grounds.

    • Nonsense! This should have been followed up immediately and there should have been a house call made on this kid to find out about his aspirations.

      • How do we know the FBI didn’t talk to him?
        You tuber alerts FBI, 6 mo later school shooting.
        Russia alerts FBI baddabing Boston bombers.
        FBI was aware of the Orlando nightclub shooter.
        Didn’t an FBI agent ride in car with the 2 people killed in Mohamed art contest?
        Didn’t Adam Lanza’s father have a connection to the government?
        We still don’t know jack about Los Vegas.
        ……………..?fastandfurious………?
        Note to self. Get more tinfoil.

    • So it sounds like anyone who owns guns or intends to buy one in the future will need to keep their mouth shut. Looks like the 2A could be spun into a club to modify behavior.

      Shut up or no guns 4 U. And we get to chose what you can or cannot say.

      Kinda opposite of what the framing fathers had in mind, don’tcha think?

      • I mean… if you’re planning to “joke” about shooting up a school then yeah maybe you should stfu.

        If, on the other hand, you’re actually serious then please post it everywhere.

      • Exactly! Unfortunately with today’s society and people catastrophizing about almost everything my best advice is to watch what you post and be polite in public. You never want to appear the aggressor in public especially if you carry. Prosecutors with a anti gun agenda or wanting to make political gains for self promotion will use your words against you in court if your involved in a self defense litigation case

    • Chris, making terroristic threats is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(c)(1)(g). This one statement probably does not rise to that level for the purposes of a charge, but it would certainly provide a strong basis for an investigation.

    • Talking to police is never in your best interest…you stand to gain nothing? Really? Let me make point using family. So let’s say I lived down the street from your parents, and while grabbing a Big Mac, I overhear two people talking about jacking “that couple on my street”. I’m single, so I know it’s not my place they’re targeting. So I employ your philosophy. That couple ends up being your parents, and one of the perps loses his head during the robbery, and hastily kills your Dad. Since their facing aggravated murder charges, they conclude that their only option is to kill your Mom and anyone else in the house. To cover their tracks, they douse everything in gasoline and torch it, with the deceased people still inside. I’m not being ugly about your family, and I certainly wouldn’t want anything like that to happen, but if it did, are you sure you’re really cool with the fact that all of it could have been prevented,, had I simply reported it? I wouldn’t be. There’s plenty to gain by calling the police. It may not benefit you, but it may benefit someone else out there. And unless you’re acting like a total psycho and/or simply being disrespectful, there’s no downside 98% of the time.

      • Classic red herring fallacy. And no, it didn’t convince me. Go ask the central park five, brendan dassey, tyler edmonds, kristi fulgham, adam grey, and the marquette park four how they feel about talking to the police and let me know what you come up with.

    • But the FBI (probably via the NSA) probably has to look into hundreds, even thousands, of these every day.

      If the person isn’t a known felon or on a prohibited list, they then let it slide.

      We are always wise after the event.

    • Well, apparently it can be a crime since there have been kids who got busted for just talking trash online in games and posting lyrics from their favorite bands (i.e. Exodus, a Thrash Metal band, and rapper Eminem) and get hit with that party van BS.

      Links here:
      http://www.kens5.com/article/news/crime/from-gamer-trash-talk-to-criminal-indictment-teen-finally-going-to-court/273-497116984

      https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6244129/exclusive-james-evans-exodus-lyrics-facebook-jail

      http://exclaim.ca/music/article/teenager_arrested_for_posting_violent_eminem_lyrics_on_instagram

    • Florida police responded to Cruz’s home 39 times over a seven-year period, according to disturbing new documents found by CNN. Also and even worse according to a article in the NY Post “The FBI was warned last month that Nikolas Cruz was an armed psycho who might shoot up a school — but it didn’t bother investigating, the agency admitted Friday.

      “A person close to” Cruz called the agency’s tipline on Jan. 5 and reported the 19-year-old had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” and there was “potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the FBI said in a statement.

      But the agency said it failed to pass on any of that information to its Miami field office, even thought its own protocols say he “should have been assessed as a potential threat to life.”

      A little over a month later, on Wednesday, Cruz allegedly gunned down 17 people at his former high school.

      8:29

      YouTuber: I tipped FBI about alleged Florida shooter last year

    • …… and the revolution of 2019…… now call the FBI on me for making a vague comment. I’m sure they already have me on a list somewhere for agreeing with PWRSerg one too many times.

  2. Ramblings of a nut always carry more weight after that nut does something.
    I’m not comfortable with the state getting up everyones ass just because they make edgey posts online or posture up in front of their peers. That’s just as dangerous and liberty destroying as blaming the 2nd.

    The only real, workable reaction is to meet fire with fire. That’s it. That’s the only option that doesn’t restrict liberty and the only option that could actually limit or even prevent anyone from being hurt or killed other than the perpetrator.

    My drive this morning was NPR whining about how Congress never does “anything” and the one guy who suggested making schools a hard target was immediately attacked as a fascist and extremist. Everybody else was on the prohibition bandwagon. I guess because prohibition has such a great track record of successes.

    • +1 on your first thought. If we really expect to stop this sort of thing in the pre-crime phase we’re going to have to lock up a whole lot of people who ultimately won’t be threats. And it leaves a lot of room for corruption and abuse from our benevolent overlords.

      As far as NPR, they just hate freedom and hate the Constitution, so this is really just an excuse to push their agenda. Saving lives isn’t actually part of that agenda.

      • ” If we really expect to stop this sort of thing . . .”

        Quit “Soft Target” -ing our kids by having them bunch up anywhere, especially schools. Even then, you’ve still got frailties to the plan.

        Other than that, quit pitching that you can “stop this sort of thing” because that’s complete bullshit, and well-known bullshit.

  3. Don’t forget the name not displayed on purpose Ft. Lauderdale shooter. Heck, he went to an FBI office claiming CIA was in his head and they told him to seek medical help.

    If the government has a compelling interest in ‘public safety’ (the claim used for why a gun law is not in violation of the 2nd Amendment), then these incidents are clearly negligence by the government.

  4. The real truth is that in civilized countries like Japan this tragedy would never have happened. In Japan in order to get a firearms i.d. card the police interview your doctor and your neighbors and their professional vetting system would also have detected the killers prior mental health problems as well. Contrast this to our own totally incompetent FBI that was warned twice about this nut case and they sat on their hands drinking coffee and ready porn magazines rather than go out and pick this nut case up for questioning.

    The NRA is also to blame as they have consistently pandered not to the majority of their members but to the minority of their hard core base who believe in no gun laws regardless of high the dead body count gets.

    Safe storage laws would have prevented the majority of school shootings (not this one) because if guns were locked up then the distraught kid could not take his daddy’s assault rifle and commit mass killings. This is not rocket science and as previously noted every other civilized country has safe storage laws to prevent theft, accidental child shootings and kids committing mass shootings.

    Vetting of all gun purchases again would prevent lunatics and criminals from buying guns with no paper work at gun shows or from private sales which are legal in the majority of states. We already have the Brady Bill in place it would not cost very little to simply implement it for all gun sales.

    Because the NRA has prevented all of this from happening we as gun owners stand to lose everything and the corrupt Supreme Court along with the back stabbing corrupt Conservative Justices last summer reversed the Scalia decision due to public pressure and by letting the lower courts ban or restrict the right to own semi-auto weapons in Maryland and the other states like California now have the green light to start confiscating them and that is exactly what California now is about to do with no worry about the courts stopping it as they know now that the Scalia decision and the Second Amendment is now totally trashed and is ancient history and that now they can ban anything and everything they want to.

    Its the end of gun ownership in the U.S. as when the Dem’s regain control of Congress and the Presidency its a no brainier on what they are going to do and gun owners have no one to blame but themselves and the nut cases at the NRA as they all fought well established gun control measures that other counties put in placed decades ago that have prevented such school shootings from happening. Britain had just one School shooting in the 1980’s and they put an end to such horror as well as Australia and Germany as well. They and other countries dealt with the problem they did not wish that it just would not go away. Of course the Republicans wish it would but sooner than later they too will have to do something about it.

    • Japan? Why is a high-functioning police state somehow a relevant comparison for a free society?
      Forget 2A; ask yourself how much 5A, 4A, and 8A they have there.

        • Read the factors why the US is 21st and only recently considered a ‘flawed democracy’. It is largely due to civilian distrust of our government – and started LONG before Trump was elected. I would argue that this one salient fact is what got Trump elected – people simply distrust our government, and wanted ‘something else’.

          So, explain to me why, when the GOVERNMENT clearly failed in this case, and in others, we should even consider providing the government with MORE authority and pass MORE laws when we, as a nation, already clearly distrust our government?

          Japan is great – if you are Japanese. A largely homogenous population surrounded by water. Great comparable to America… You are always welcome to move there.

          Now YOU’RE the ignorant person….

    • Ever have an original thought? I guess just spewing the anti-gun pablum endlessly makes you think you’re some kind of superior intellect. Post at The Trace, maybe they’ll care.

    • You blame the Republicans and NRA and yet ignore the simple concept of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. These rights are neither given nor limited in any way by the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is nothing but a limit on Government. So you are blaming people and organizations who simply honor those principles. The issue, for you, is that you feel impotent to change what you perceive are wrongs and project your impotence upon those who do not agree with your socialistic views. This is why liberalism is a mental disease and must be eradicated forth with.

    • Shall we discuss the fact that Japan is an ethno state? Betcha if we got rid of all the non-Europeans our homicide rate would drop like a rock. But hey, I would expect a commie to support ethnic cleansing.

      • We also have a criminal problem with Outlaw Motorcycle gangs stepping up a tit-for-tat murder war on each other. The problem is bullets don’t just disappear if they miss so eventually an innocent bystander is going to get killed.

        Years ago a truck driver parked at a service station was shot and killed in the cabin of truck when two gangs had a shootout across the road.

        Last night a club president of an OLMC was killed outside a gym. He had recently been released from prison for the manslaughter of a Hells Angels associate at a brawl at Sydney Airport many years ago. The police are committing resources (more likely buying popcorn) to interdict the conflict.

    • You are right. This would not happen in Japan. A more common crime in Japan is a family member poisoning his/her family and having it counted as a “family suicide.”

      Japan’s suicide rate is greater than the US murder + suicide. But wait, since family murder/suicide is counted as all suicide, Japan’s actual murder rate is probably close to the US murder rate.

    • Ha. Comparisons to Japan – by someone who has probably never been to Japan.

      I’ve been to Japan. The country is best summed up as a “very polite police state.” There are police on just about every corner in Japan. They keep tabs on everyone in their assigned neighborhoods. Their case clearance rate is over 95%. The police aren’t armed, and don’t need to be, because everyone knows that the worst thing the cops in Japan can do to you is haul you down to the station – where they can go to work on you, out of public view.

      They achieve that high case clearance rate with two factors:

      1. Being able to hold people for reasons that would not fly in courts here, and (if they find it necessary) sweat a confession out of them:

      http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2007-05-13/news/0705120197_1_confessions-interrogations-japan

      2. A national culture where people tend to confess their actions, even if it is a criminal action, out of shame.

      Let’s compare Japan’s situation to one of your gun control paradise cities, Chicago: Chi-town’s closure rate on homicides is about 30%:

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-homicide-clearance-rate-20160909-story.html

      NB the other wonderful Democratically-controlled urban paradise locations mentioned in the article have closure rates of about 50%.

      Still far, far below that of Japan.

      The truth is, you don’t know what you’re talking about when you make these comparisons. You know nothing of the differences in culture, you know nothing about the actual crime stats, you just pop your little gopher head up after some nutjob has gotten his 15 minutes of mass media fame, spout your dribble, and then disappear. You’re as predictable as you are uninformed.

  5. We are breeding a new generation of children that are totally against gun ownership as the children interviewed today and yesterday in the Florida massacre are all saying they have seen their comrades laying in pools of blood with their brains splattered all over the walls. They want something done to stop the madness and they will do it when they turn 18 by voting out Republicans and supporting more common sense gun control. To them the older hillbilly generation cannot die off of old age fast enough.

    • Yes a new generation who can’t think for themselves. Take a quote from Obama and say it’s Trump’s and they’ll hate it. Reverse it and they’ll love it. I guess their original thinkers, just like you.

    • Teenagers hate guns?

      That’s funny. My son offered to do a barrel and trigger swap on my MSR just yesterday.

      Not all of our youth are brain washed.

    • Oh yea, and the press would never, ever edit those interviews, or select a pre-screened group of interviewees, to support the press’ agenda, would they?

    • In the 1950s and 60s they spent so much effort chasing “subversives” they ignored organised crime letting the Mafia and other groups run rampant.

  6. “While remembering that all Americans should be considered innocent until proven guilty.”

    The presumption of innocence applies in criminal trials; it’s a rule of criminal law that the prosecution has the burden of proving the guilt of the accused. It doesn’t apply to opinions, nor should it.

    Lon Horiuchi was never prosecuted for gunning down Vicki Weaver. John Gotti beat the rap so many times they called him The Teflon Don. And let’s not forget OJ Simpson, whose quest to find the real killer was interrupted by a prison term.

    Let’s not stretch the meaning of the phrase “presumed innocent” beyond all recognition.

    • I hardly see it as a career path, unless the next Demoncrat president gives him a pardon and he becomes ANTIFA’s poster boy.

      17 life terms, consecutive I hope, puts a real dampener on the professional development.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here