There are a lot of questions floating around about how people could think the Parkland High shooter was likely to shoot up a school, all the while without anything being done. According to Buzzfeed, the FBI may have possibly been tipped off back in September. After a YouTube comment.
I’m leaving the shooter’s name out of this, because f*** him.
Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named [redacted].
The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment to the bureau’s tips account. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.
Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.
“They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”
The name matches, but the FBI won’t confirm if it’s the same guy. They did, however, contact the YouTuber again.
I know the FBI has been a political hot potato lately. This wouldn’t be the first time they let a mass killer slip, just in recent years alone (see FBI INCOMPETENCE? Rahami’s Father Warned Agency His Son Was a Terrorist… and Incompetence: FBI Loses Track of Orlando Shooter’s Wife. Yes, Really…). Of course, that’s if it’s even the same guy. This is YouTube. Someone could have just been trolling.
Still, something clearly needs to be fixed. Let’s start with the truckloads of disinformation lingering around.