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FBI Investigates YouTube Comment Possibly Linked To Florida Shooter


While the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) continued its investigation into the fatal shooting attack at a Parkland, Florida, high school on 14 February 2018, a YouTube user from MS revealed that he had an online brush with someone with the same name as the suspected gunman.

MS resident Ben Bennight says on September 24, 2017, someone with the same name as the suspected school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, posted an alarming comment on Bennight's YouTube channel.

Bennight said that he flagged the comment to YouTube and also sent a screenshot to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who visited him briefly in September and asked him whether he knew the poster.

It hasn't been confirmed if the YouTube comment was made from Nikolas.

"I think in today's online world, it is very hard to narrow down who does what without more information", Bennight told CNN's Jake Tapper later Thursday, "and unfortunately, I wasn't able to provide them with much". The comment on YouTube has since been pulled down.

Nikolas Cruz - the 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland - is not a "Dreamer", according to Bethania Palma Markus in a Snopes.com post. It also outlines a procedure by which law enforcement authorities can obtain the information.

Bennight told Pegues he spoke with the FBI Wednesday night again for about 20 minutes.

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Bennight told Buzzfeed that the agents asked him if he knew Cruz, but he did not.

Robert Lasky, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Division, confirmed Thursday that the FBI received information previous year about a YouTube comment.

The FBI Thursday said it investigated but wasn't able to confirm the person who posted the comment was indeed the shooter.

KTVU reached out to YouTube regarding a Nikolas Cruz account which appeared to be active until Wednesday but was closed because of violent content that violated company policy.

On Wednesday afternoon, after Cruz was arrested, Bennight got a call from an agent in the FBI's Miami field office, who wanted to follow up on the September incident, he said.

The FBI was not commenting on Thursday morning, CBS News' Andy Triay reports. "That was the last I heard from them".

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