YouTube vlogger and bail bondsman Ben Bennight contacted FBI after finding a disturbing comment on one of his videos, according to BuzzFeed News. "I'm going to be a professional school shooter," a user named Nikolas Cruz wrote.
The 36-year-old sent a screenshot of the comment to the bureau's account for tips and called the Mississippi bureau, where he lives. The comment was flagged and removed from YouTube. On September 25 the FBI interviewed Bennight. "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."
FBI agents reportedly contacted Bennight on Wednesday, nearly five months after he last heard from them, when a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Cruz has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
In the aftermath of the shooting, many, including President Trump, have questioned how much authorities, staffers, and other students knew about Cruz's behavior. Cruz was expelled from Douglas last year, and was known to others as a “loner” who talked about his love of guns in person and online, according to BuzzFeed.
FBI officials have not confirmed that Nikolas Cruz ran the YouTube account of the same name that was flagged in September. But FBI officials did contact Bennight 30 minutes after Cruz was in police custody and left a voicemail. "I think we spoke with you in the past about a complaint that you made about someone making a comment on your YouTube channel," the agent said in the message shared with BuzzFeed News. "I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that's come up, if you wouldn't mind giving me a ring."
FBI agents then visited him in person in Mississippi to question him. "They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn't. I don't," Bennight said. "Then they left."
The YouTube account of the user Nikolas Cruz was deleted for “multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy on violence” after the shooting took place.