Fla. officials found shooting suspect to be low risk in 2016 probe: report

Fla. officials found shooting suspect to be low risk in 2016 probe: report
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Florida officials found the teenager who is accused of killing 17 people and injuring 14 others at a Florida high school last week to be a low-level risk after a 2016 probe into his home life, according to The Washington Post.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) report obtained by the Post concluded that Nikolas Cruz's “final level of risk is low,” but found he had behavior difficulties and had planned to purchase a firearm. 

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The probe wrapped up not long before Cruz bought an AR-15, which officials say he used to carry out Wednesday's shooting at his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Post reported.

The investigation revealed Cruz had cut his arms on Snapchat, planned to purchase a gun, and had a racial epithet and Nazi symbol displayed on his backpack, according to the newspaper.

The report's conclusions were first publicized by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 

DCF began to investigate Cruz in September of 2016, shortly after he turned 18. The report described him as “a vulnerable adult due to mental illness," and was a reason why investigators looked into his home situation. 

DCF has asked a court to allow the release of the records regarding Cruz. 

A hearing in a Broward County circuit court, where a judge will go over DCF's request to release the documents, is set for Monday. 

“While the APS report related to this individual remains confidential pending a court order for release, we have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the 2016 case," DCF press secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement to The Hill. 

"Mental health services and supports were in place when this investigation closed. We look forward to Monday’s hearing, where we will ask that these records are released so the public can have access to this important information." 

The Post report comes as the FBI faces intense scrutiny over its handling of Cruz. 

A person close to Cruz called the FBI's public tipline in January and raised concerns about a possible school shooting, citing Cruz's gun ownership and desire to kill.

However, the FBI never reported the tip to its Miami field office or investigated the claim. 

Lawmakers have since called for an investigation of the FBI since it was first reported that they were tipped off about Cruz posing a possible threat. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications Property is a fundamental right that is now being threatened 25 states could see severe flooding in coming weeks, scientists say MORE ripped the FBI in a tweet on Saturday, suggesting the bureau could have stopped Cruz if it spent less time working on the Russia probe.