Tipster Warned FBI About Nikolas Cruz's Concerning Instagram Accounts in January

Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the nation has argued about where the accountability lies for all of the missed warning signs. The FBI has released a transcript of a phone call made on Jan. 5, expressing concerns about the shooter's mental state.

The call was made nearly six weeks before 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz brought a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle to his former high school and took 17 lives. The caller explained several reasons to suspect that Cruz might commit a crime, such as a mass shooting. "I just want someone to know about this so they can look into it," the caller said. "If they think it's something worth going into, fine. If not, um, I just know I have a clear conscience if he takes off and, and just starts shooting places up."

The calls reveal a shockingly comprehensive look at all the red flags surround Cruz, who many people in the community suspected of having violent tendencies. The caller especially felt that law enforcement should look into Cruz's Instagram presence.

"He's got Instagram accounts," they said. "He started off saying he wanted to kill himself. So what I did was I called the parkland, which is where he lives, Uh, Parkland Police Department... I gave him all the information I had. And then just recently, now he has switched it to he wants to kill people. And then he put that on his Instagram and about two days later, he took it off."

The caller provided the FBI tip line with all four of Cruz's Instagram accounts. They also explained his violent history and his mental health issues, as well as the shaky emotional ground he was on after the death of his mother. They even describe his fixation on killing and mutilating small animals, describing a scenario where Cruz reportedly cut up the body of a small bird on his mother's kitchen counter, saying "I want to see what's inside."

"Uh, on the Instagram, he says 'I want to kill people,'" the caller said. They pointed the intake specialist to several instances of violent threats Cruz had made online. The caller even suggested that Cruz had met the Snead family online. "A man he befriended, some young boy who's also on Instagram, and, um, his father, this boy's father took him in," they said.

Cruz was staying with the Snead family at the time of the shooting. They reportedly made him purchase a gun safe and lock up his weapons, but maintain to this day that he has a right to own them, even the AR-15 assault rifle he used in the attack. The Sneads' son was a student at Stoneman Douglas High, though it wasn't previously known that he'd met Cruz online and not in school.


In addition to the January call, the FBI had received a tip in September from a bail bondsman in Mississippi about a suspicious comment left on his YouTube video. "I'm going to be a professional school shooter," read the comment, left by a user named nikolas cruz. The bureau said they didn't have enough evidence to link the comment to the Cruz in Parkland, Florida.

The acting FBI deputy director, David L. Bowdich, briefed congressional staff members on Friday about the case. He acknowledged the bureau's failure to follow up on these tips, according to three sources who spoke to the New York Times about the meeting.