In Brief

Florida shooting: Nikolas Cruz confesses to school massacre

FBI to review handling of warning about Florida shooting suspect

Nikolas Cruz has admitted that he’s the Florida gunman who shot dead 17 people at a high school on Wednesday, police say.

The 19-year-old said he arrived on campus and shot students with an AR-15 then abandoned his weapon and escaped, the BBC reports, citing a court document. The teenager is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Cruz left Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by blending in with other students and headed to Walmart and later McDonald’s, the Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper says.

As Cruz walked down the street, he was arrested by an officer who recognised his description.

The FBI admitted it received a tip-off about him last year and announced a review of its handling of the warning about Cruz.

YouTube video blogger Ben Bennight reportedly contacted the FBI in September 2017 about a comment left on one of his videos by a user with the name Nikolas Cruz, which read: “I am going to be a professional school shooter.”

CNN says FBI agents went to Bennight’s office for an interview shortly after he reported the comment to them.

But Robert Lasky, the FBI special agent in charge of the Miami division, said investigators were “unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment.”

The New York Times says the FBI would have found it difficult to secure a grand jury subpoena to obtain the user’s identity from YouTube “based on the scant information available.” As the comment did not identify a specific time or location of a possible shooting, it would be difficult to convince prosecutors that there was an “imminent threat.”

Other warnings about Cruz have come to light. The BBC reports that teachers had been warned by school authorities about Cruz, who was “not allowed on campus with a backpack.”

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