Fernando Santos, a friend of Cruz who spoke to ABC News through Instagram, said the alleged shooter was picked on in his first few years of school. But Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said school officials had not received any specific tips or seen red flags to alert them to danger.
The FBI was alerted to an alarming comment on YouTube from a user named Nikolas Cruz, who posted months ago that he planned to become a "professional school shooter", according to a MS man. "I'm going to be a professional school shooter", wrote a "Nikolas Cruz", whose profile did not have a photo.
At Thursday morning's news conference in Parkland, FBI agent Rob Lasky told reporters it is investigating the YouTube comment, but could not immediately identify the user who posted it.
The bureau had received information about the comment a year ago, said Robert Lasky, the special agent in charge of the Miami division.
"If they're getting warnings, they need to do a better job - because enough is enough".
"He had some involvement with the Clearwater Republic of Florida cell at some point", Jordan Jereb said in a telephone interview.
"We were told past year that he wasn't allowed on campus with a backpack on him", Gard said. A judge ordered he be held without bond.
Cruz had recently moved in with another family after his mother's death in November, according to Jim Lewis, a lawyer representing the family and local media, bringing his AR-15 along with his other belongings.
People who live on same street as Cruz said he alarmed them by shooting squirrels and rabbits in the neighborhood as well as chickens being raised in a nearby backyard.
"The next day, two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were standing in my office taking down the information, taking copies of the screenshot and asking me questions that of course, I couldn't answer", Bennight said.