Crime

Coast bail bondsman warned FBI of a possible school shooter. Then it happened in Florida.

D'Iberville bail bondsman Ben Bennight posted a video to his YouTube channel Wednesday night about the FBI interviewing him after a post reportedly from Florida school shooter Nikolaus Cruz appeared on his channel. The account using Cruz's name as Nikolas Cruz wrote in September, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter."
D'Iberville bail bondsman Ben Bennight posted a video to his YouTube channel Wednesday night about the FBI interviewing him after a post reportedly from Florida school shooter Nikolaus Cruz appeared on his channel. The account using Cruz's name as Nikolas Cruz wrote in September, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter."

Five months before Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Florida, a D’Iberville bail bondsman reported a concerning comment posted on one of his YouTube videos.

A commenter with the username “nikolas cruz” wrote: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

Bail bond agent Ben Bennight believes the commenter was Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old accused in a deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cruz used an AR-15 and multiple magazines to kill 17 teenagers and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Miami Herald reports. The shooting spree on Valentine’s Day wounded 15 others.

Bennight says he made a screen shot of the comment and emailed it to the FBI and to YouTube on Sept. 24. His email to the FBI bounced back, so he called the FBI.

“The next day, I had two FBI agents standing in my office,” Bennight says.

The FBI went to his home after the shooting Wednesday to ask further questions, Bennight says in a YouTube video posted on his Facebook page.

“I didn’t ignore it,” Bennight said. “I forwarded it to the proper authorities.”

“I guess it’s not something I’d rather not know, but I wish this information could have prevented this from happening ... I’m not sure there’s anything the FBI could have done with that information besides keep an eye on somebody.”

The FBI on Thursday confirmed the agency had received information about the comment in September, but declined to confirm if the commenter was the shooter.

“No other information was included in the comment which would indicate a particular time, location, or the true identity of the person who posted the comment,” said Brett Carr, public affairs officer for the FBI in Jackson.

“The FBI conducted database reviews and other checks, but was unable to further identify the person who posted the comment.”

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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