WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- A school shooting may be a preventable tragedy. 22News talked to police about who parents can turn to if they notice strange behavior out of their kids or others.
Students who knew Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman in the Florida school shooting say he used to talk about having fun with guns. Some kids joked that if anyone were to attack the school, it would have been him.
“One of the worst things that come out of these tragedies is when you hear from anybody afterwards, ‘I knew this'”, says West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani. “If we had that information we could have stopped this.”
Police departments are tipped off on a countless number of threats at both the local and federal levels. If your child comes home from school with information on a possible threat, don’t hesitate to call your local police department.
“In this day and age people are typing about it, they’re talking about it on social media and they’re following through”, says Chicopee Police Officer and former School Resource Officer, Mike Wilk. “If you see anything that concerns you, you need to call the police right away.”
“Let us determine at that point if it’s credible or not”, says Campurciani.
The FBI was tipped off about the Florida school shooter in the Fall from a man in Mississippi through a comment allegedly posted by Cruz on his YouTube video.
Chicopee and West Springfield also had similar incidents involving social media. Both departments were able to stop the situation before it escalated.
Springfield Police Spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News the Springfield Police Department investigates all threats pertaining to schools including safety checks at home.