Officials investigating 'professional school shooter' comment on social media

The FBI is investigating if the suspected Florida school shooter was also the same person who posted on social media several months ago saying he wanted to be a "professional school shooter."

Florida law enforcement announced Thursday they've started looking into the suspected school shooter's social media accounts and websites.

While questions remain about why the accused 19-year-old Florida teenager may have opened fire at his former high school, it appears there were warning signs including online.

"We've already began dissecting his websites and social media he was on. Some of the things that have come to mind are disturbing," said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

Mississippi 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.

The comment said: “I’m (sic) going to be a professional school shooter.”

“I knew I couldn't just ignore that," said Bennight.

The video blogger says he took a screen grab, flagged the comment and notified the FBI and YouTube which removed the comment.

"I actually didn't make the connection until I asked the FBI agent what the shooting could possibly have to do with my YouTube video and he said, 'Well it's the same name and we think it might be the same person,'" said Bennight.

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

"That might have been helpful information and could have prevented a tragedy. If we had scrubbed the content before it could have been flagged for the FBI, we would never have had the chance of identifying and intervening," said Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman.

Goldman is the co-director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University where flags remain at half-staff because of the shooting.

The university this month hosted a seminar with tech firms about what content should and should not be allowed.

Goldman says the flagging of inappropriate content can be useful, if used judiciously. And the biggest take away from the seminar was that social media companies aren't aware what's happening on other platforms.

"They don't know if this is a random comment, the early-warning of a tragedy in the making. They don't have enough information to make that judgment call," said Goldman.

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.

The Bay Area-based company did not reply to KTVU's request for a comment.