US Justice Dept to pay $130 mln to Parkland victims' families over FBI blunder

MIAMI (AFP) - The US Justice Department is expected to pay $130 million to the families of victims of the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida because the FBI failed to investigate two tip-offs about the gunman who went on kill 17 people at the high school, the New York Times said Monday.

Armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting rampage in the Marjorie Douglas Stoneman school on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Six weeks before that, a woman had phoned the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s tip line after seeing his social media post about stockpiling weapons and ammunitions.

"I know he’s going to explode," she said, citing fears the young man was "going to slip into a school and start shooting the place up."

And five months before the shooting, the owner of a YouTube channel had reported a comment left under one of his videos in which a user by the name of "nikolas cruz" had claimed that he would become "a professional school shooter".

Just days after the shooting, the FBI admitted it had not followed up on the two pieces of information they had received.

The FBI’s admission of its error devastated the victims’ families, who sued the bureau for negligence, the newspaper said.

Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder last month and said he was "very sorry." He is awaiting sentencing and prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.