HEADLINE FBI director urged to resign after failing to handle tips of Florida school shooting

HEADLINE

FBI director urged to resign after failing to handle tips of Florida school shooting

Xinhua

01:33, February 18, 2018

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Christopher Wray is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The Rick Scott, Governor of Florida state, urged Friday the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to resign in the wake of the agency's admission that it failed to follow up on an earlier tip over the shooter who killed 17 people in a Florida high school.

"The FBI's failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable," Scott said in a statement. "The FBI Director needs to resign."

The remarks were in response to an FBI statement released earlier in the day, which acknowledged that the law enforcement agency received a tip in January on Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter, but failed to act.

"Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it," Scott said. "An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain."

"We constantly promote 'see something, say something,' and a courageous person did just that to the FBI," Scott stressed. "And the FBI failed to act."

The FBI said earlier in the day that a person close to the shooter called the agency's tip line on January 5 to warn about "Cruz's gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."

The agency said that proper protocols were not followed for the tip, therefore the information was not provided to local authorities, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said that they are "still investigating the facts," adding that the agency's officials have spoken with victims and families, and "deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy."

The two statements came two days after Cruz opened fire on Wednesday with an AR-15 rifle at students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland in Broward County, just north of Miami on the state's southeastern tip.

Besides the 17 killings, the shooting also injured 14 others.

Cruz, who was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, made a brief court appearance on Thursday and was ordered held without bond.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that he has ordered an immediate review of the processes at the Department of Justice and the FBI.

"It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed," Sessions said in a statement. "We see the tragic consequences of those failure."

Wednesday's massacre also raised concerns about potential failure in school security and sparks ongoing U.S. debates on gun control.

During a national address on Thursday, President Donald Trump stressed safer schools for students and promised to tackle the "difficult issue of mental health" but did not mention the prevalence of guns or gun violence.

The president was expected to meet with those affected by the shooting in Parkland later Friday.


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