F.B.I. Was Warned of Florida Suspect’s Desire to Kill but Did Not Act

The F.B.I. received a tip last month from someone close to Nikolas Cruz that he owned a gun and had talked of committing a school shooting, the bureau revealed Friday, but it acknowledged that it had failed to investigate.

The tipster, who called an F.B.I. hotline on Jan. 5, told the bureau that Mr. Cruz had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts,” the F.B.I. said.

.. The tip about Mr. Cruz appeared to be the second in four months, after another person told the bureau about online comments from Mr. Cruz that he wanted to become “a professional school shooter.”

.. The F.B.I.’s admission opened up a new avenue of attack by conservatives who have questioned the impartiality of the bureau in its investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

“Last September, FBI was sent a screenshot of a comment by nikolas cruz,” Ann Coulter, the conservative commentator, said in a post on Twitter. “Unfortunately, the FBI was busy running down Clinton campaign leads about a nonexistent Russian conspiracy with Trump.”

.. After those incidents, F.B.I. investigators compared themselves to hockey goalies, fielding a relentless barrage of pucks. Sometimes, they said, they could not keep things from making the net.

.. The F.B.I. was not the only law enforcement agency to be warned about Mr. Cruz. Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County said Friday that his office had received about 20 calls regarding the suspected school gunman over the past few years.

.. The earliest known tip to the bureau came from a bail bondsman in Mississippi who told the F.B.I. last September about a worrying comment left on his YouTube channel from a “nikolas cruz” saying, “Im going to be a professional school shooter.”

.. Agents from the F.B.I. field office in Jackson, Miss., looked into the comment but could not identify who had posted it

.. The criticism of the F.B.I. has only increased after Mr. Mueller began to ensnare associates of Mr. Trump, including Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, and Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.

.. All over the world, people make threats similar to those by Nikolas Cruz. Only in America is it possible to act on those threats so easily.

.. -They could possibly have discovered that he was the person who posted the threatening messages on YouTube. People who publicly state an intention to harm others can be charged.