September 19, 2018

UPDATE: No Link Between Suspected FL Shooter and White Supremacist Group

UPDATE 1: Law enforcement officials have stated that they have yet to find any connections between suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz and white supremacist group Republic of Florida, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

UPDATE 2: Jordan Jereb, who leads the Republic of Florida (ROF) white supremacist group, is now walking back his claim that Cruz was involved with ROF.

Original Story:

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect behind the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, was reportedly involved with a white supremacist organization.

Jordan Jereb, who leads a white nationalist group called Republic of Florida (ROF), told the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that Cruz had been to at least one of the group’s training sessions. Jereb claimed that ROF had nothing to do with the shooting itself.

Jereb told the same thing to the Associated Press (AP), but added that Cruz’s shooting was likely done on Valentine’s Day because he was dealing with “trouble with a girl.” Jereb also told the AP that “he didn’t know Cruz personally.”

ROF, which is based in Tallahassee, advocates for the creation of a “white ethnostate” in Florida. They engage their members in paramilitary training; their website states they will “fight to the death” to accomplish their goal. Below is one of their training videos:

Jereb himself was arrested in 2016 after allegedly threatening a staffer to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Prior reports indicated that Cruz had made derogatory comments about Islam and once wore a Donald Trump hat. People who knew him described him as a loner who had previously threatened students. Cruz was expelled from the school.

CNN’s Jake Tapper noted that there were Cruz had multiple red flags that weren’t really acted upon:

At least six of the murdered students and a security guard were Jewish. Overall, 17 people were murdered and another 14 were injured.