A woman who knew Nikolas Cruz made a chilling phone call to the FBI weeks before he killed 17 people, warning that the twisted teen was “going to explode.”
“I just think about, you know, (Cruz) getting into a school and just shooting the place up,” the unidentified woman said in the eerily prescient call to the FBI’s tip hotline on Jan. 5, according to a transcript obtained by the New York Times.
In wake of the deadly Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the FBI admitted it failed to act on the woman’s call. The full transcript makes the FBI’s error even more glaring and provides a disturbing glimpse of Cruz’s troubled mind.
“Something is going to happen. Because he’s, he doesn’t have the mental capacity. He can’t, he’s so outraged if someone talks to him about certain things,” she told an agent.
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The woman, who was evidently close to the 19-year-old gunman, cited the teen’s Instagram accounts. She told authorities that he’d long hinted at killing himself on his social media page, but noted he recently “switched it to he wants to kill people.”
“On the Instagram, he says, ‘I want to kill people,'” the woman said.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the transcripts, only telling the Daily News that the bureau did not officially release it.
The anonymous tipster raised what she called another “red flag” on the frantic call: Cruz’s proclivity for cutting up small animals.
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Cruz killed birds, frogs and critters and posted pictures of the mangled creatures to a second Instagram account, she said. Before his biological mother passed away, Cruz brought one of his preys inside.
“He threw it on his mother’s kitchen counter and he started cutting it up,” the woman recalled. “He started cutting the bird up and his mother, Linda, said, ‘What’re you doing?’ And he says, ‘I want to see what’s inside.'”
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The caller also revealed that Cruz’s mother had received a significant sum of money after filing a wrongful death lawsuit for her husband.
Cruz took that money to buy a small arsenal of weapons.
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“I don’t know how he got the debit card, but he did,” she said. “And he took it, and he bought all these rifles and ammunition and he posted pictures of them on the Instagram.”
Another of the woman’s stunning revelations: Cruz was obsessed with ISIS.
“He’s so into ISIS and, um, I’m afraid this is so something’s gonna happen,” she said, describing how Cruz would post pictures of himself dressed up as an Islamic terrorist. She also recounted how Cruz would frequently post pictures of himself donning a “Make America Great Again” cap.
The caller provided the agent with usernames for two of Cruz’s social media accounts, encouraging the FBI to comb through the pages.
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“It’s alarming to see these pictures and to know what he’s capable of doing and what could happen,” she said. “He’s [been] thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn’t like the way they were talking to him.”
The woman said she phoned in because she “wanted a clear conscience if he takes off and, and just starts shooting places up.”
Cruz, armed with a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle, killed 17 of his former classmates and teachers and wounded at least a dozen more in the Valentine’s Day shooting.
Following the deadly rampage, FBI admitted it had not passed on details of the woman’s call to the Miami field office for consideration.
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“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,” Gov. Rick Scott said in response.
“Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it. An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain.”
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CHRIS SOMMERFELDT, Jessica Schladebeck