Among the many red flags emerging about school shooter and known “loner” Nikolas Cruz, information has emerged that he has previously been reported to the FBI.
A bail bondsman named Ben Bennight, who goes by the YouTube handle of “Ben The Bondsman” received and reported a comment from school shooter Nikolas Cruz to the FBI in September of last year. The comment notes Cruz’s aspirations to become a “professional school shooter”. Bennight, unable to ignore the comment, screen captured it and sent it to the FBI.
Field Agents responded quickly but asked only if Bennight knew the commenter. Bennight was not able to provide any further assistance, and the investigation appears to have led nowhere. Yesterday, only a couple hours after the shooting, a special agent decided to follow up again with Bennight, this time leaving a voicemail, “I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that’s come up, if you wouldn’t mind giving me a ring.”
FBI officials confirmed Bennight’s account today in a Miami Press conference, stating that they were unable to identify the poster of the comment even after reviewing the database, “No other information was included in the comment which would indicate a particular time, location or the true identity of the person who posted the comment.” Further information has emerged linking Cruz to a white-supremacy group based in Florida, known as “The Republic of Florida”. The group leader, Jordan Jereb, came forward today confirming Cruz’s involvement and participation in training events. Jereb states, however, that Cruz acted alone: “he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”
Jereb went a step further in stating that recent relationship problems and the timing of the event, indicated a likely motive. Cruz was taken down yesterday at 3:43 PM as New In Onslow listened to call coming in over the Broward County radio: “Suspect detained…we got him for sure”, later confirming his identity as Nikolas Cruz. At that time radio traffic also indicated police and investigator knowledge of his YouTube postings and confirmed possession of his chat logs stating that he’d been on the night prior talking about making bombs – information that led police to bring in K9 teams immediately after the arrest to conduct “article searches”. Article searches refer to searches of objects left behind as students and staff abandoned the school as the shooting commenced or objects that may have been left by Cruz as he attempted to hide among his own victims.
Cruz was immediately transferred to the hospital by police, and then later taken to the Broward County Jail, where he is now locked up under 17 counts of pre-meditated murder. At a bond hearing today he was denied any form of a bond, expected to face the death penalty for his actions.