TAMPA (FOX 13) - With the FBI under fire for failing to act on tips about the teenager accused of murdering 17 people in a Broward County high school, a retired special agent in Tampa had his own criticism of his former employer.
More than a month before Nikolas Cruz allegedly attacked students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, someone called in a tip to the FBI reporting concerns about Cruz's "gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."
The FBI has admitted the tip wasn't passed on to the Miami field office, as it should have been.
"For something like this to happen and then result in the death of innocent children is horrific. I can tell you, since it's happened, I've been a little embarrassed," said Dave Couvertier, a retired FBI special agent and current crime prevention consultant.
Couvertier said he's been fielding a lot questions from people he knows about his former employer since reports surfaced of the FBI's missteps.
He told FOX 13 it can be difficult sorting through the thousands of tips come into the agency daily.
"It's unfortunate, in this case, something did fall through the cracks for whatever reason and I'm sure the FBI is going to actually address that sometime in the near future," he said. "They do owe the public an explanation as to what happened."
Couvertier believes the person who called in the tip did exactly what, as a consultant, he advises people to do in cases like this.
"Forget this, 'See something, say something.' We're beyond that. What we need to be doing now: 'If you know something, do something.' Do something proactively," he said. "Get your facts, get your evidence, whatever it is you have and then report. Report, report, report."
Credible reports, however, should lead to action and that's not what happened here and Couvertier thinks the FBI clearly needs to improve.
"Even historically, the FBI, when you look back, had some missteps early on in the Hoover administration. But we learned from that and we got better and we're going to do the same thing again," he added.