Would an arrest record have changed the judgment of the FBI agents who ignored the tip that Cruz wanted to kill his classmates? Certainly Cruz could not have legally purchased a gun if the 2016 social-services investigation determined that he was a threat to himself and others. That year, according to the Washington Post, the sheriff’s office was informed that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.” The office determined that Cruz had knives and a BB gun and sent this information to the school resource officer (presumably the now-infamous Scot Peterson). It’s unclear whether Peterson investigated; if he did, neither he nor anyone else evidently filed a report.
When social services approached Peterson in its investigation of Cruz, the officer “refused to share any information . . . regarding [an] incident that took place.” Peterson and his colleagues appear to have been under pressure to post lower statistics on school-safety problems. This climate of disengagement could have allowed Cruz to slip through the cracks in the system.