Was An Individual Or Agency Responsible For The February Florida School Shooting?
The tragic Florida shooting has dominated headlines in our sunshine state of late. With 17 killed and others injured in the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland on February 14th, many are now looking at whether anyone knew—ahead of time—that the shooter (Nikolas Cruz) posed a danger to the public, and whether the shooter fell through the cracks due to negligence on anyone’s part.
Specifically, the Florida Department of Children and Families—who had been alerted to various alarming posts made by the shooter—conducted an in-home investigation of Nikolas Cruz after he exhibited troubling behavior nearly one and a half years ago, prior to the incident. After conducting this visit, the department determined that he was at “low risk of harming himself or others.”
As discussed in greater detail below, other agencies—such as the FBI—had also been previously placed on alert.
State and Federal Authorities Were Previously Alerted
The Florida Department of Children and Families isn’t alone: Cruz was reportedly identified by local and federal agencies as a troubled young man with violent tendencies on many occasions prior to the shooting. In fact, the FBI acknowledged that it failed to investigate two tips called into the agency (one in January, 2018, and the other in September, 2017) which identified Cruz as a gun owner intent on killing people, possibly at a school. According to the agency, while the information should have been assessed as a potential threat to life, the proper protocols were not followed, and the FBI’s Miami office was never notified at all.
Meanwhile, Florida high school students have staged numerous protests in demanding tougher gun laws, arguing that no 19-year-old should be able to obtain an AR-15 (the weapon used in the shooting).
What about Social Media Companies?
Given how frequently violent individuals announce their intentions ahead of time on social media; many are understandably also wondering why social media companies aren’t doing more to prevent such horrible violence. Cruz had posted disturbing material on social media before the attack, and this included discussions regarding his desire to kill people and threatening violence against specific minority groups.
Cruz is not alone in this: The lack of accountability for information posted on social media platforms has arguably contributed to child sex trafficking, online violent exhibitionism, manipulation of elections, mass murders, targeted attacks on police officers, and terrorism on a global scale.
Florida Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys
If an individual, state, or federal agency acts negligently and causes injury or death to your child, you should speak with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Holding those responsible for your family’s losses can, in some circumstances, prevent future tragedies. Contact our Boca Raton, Florida injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out more.