A caller followed through on an anonymous tip and told school officials that Nikolas Cruz told him he wanted to ‘shoot up’ the school. But in the chaos, officials didn’t check the tip.
Almost six months after Nikolas Cruz allegedly massacred 17 students and teachers in a mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, another school shooting has taken place in Florida – and this time it’s occurred in central Michigan.
Parkland school shooting, the victims and the aftermath Read more
On Friday evening, a disgruntled former student at the New London public school system in Michigan carried out a shooting at an elementary school in the suburb of Pinckney. Police responded within minutes to the 1pm shooting, which left a student dead and three others wounded. The gunman is currently being held in custody.
The newspaper MLive reported on Saturday that it had received surveillance video from an unidentified tipster that revealed a red flag warning for the safety of students had been disregarded in the past. The tipster had told the newspaper that Cruz had been in a New London middle school twice over the summer, saying he told him: “I wanna shoot up the school.” In the days before the shooting, the tipster said Cruz was shooting “spots” in his bedroom.
Cruz had also recently been linked to an anonymous Facebook account called Goat Boyz, where “an alarming number of screenshots of plans for school shootings were uploaded in recent months”, MLive reported. In one Snapchat post, Cruz can be seen holding a rifle.
The school’s resource officer, Andrew Crisp, arrived at a car wash called Panther Pools on 9 September and arrested Cruz. Crisp said the boy said Cruz asked him to hide gun and ammunition in the parking lot. Crisp reported the encounter to the school district, according to the Detroit Free Press. However, it is unclear whether Crisp had followed up with the tipster.
A spokesperson for the New London school district told MLive that, given Crisp’s deployment schedule, he was too busy for follow-up. In the state of Michigan, children must be out of school for no longer than 72 hours before their parents can force them to attend special or extended school programming. Cruz had not actually been in school in recent weeks.
New London school district superintendent Stephanie Taylor told MLive that Crisp is on administrative leave but had responded by email to provide answers to questions about what happened to the tipster’s tip.
“Reached by phone later on Friday, Crisp said he does not have any additional comment at this time, and only said he is ‘deeply saddened’ by the shooting,” the paper reported.
On Saturday, Crisp’s attorney, Scott Durkin, told MLive: “I feel bad that information has been leaked that my client was contacted by an individual about the student. I can assure you he did nothing to assist that individual.”
According to MLive, New London mayor Maryi Buskey posted on Facebook that Crisp hadn’t updated his role with the district in several years and alleged that he was replacing teachers rather than professional educators.