A leader of a white nationalist group has confirmed that the suspected school shooter behind Wednesday’s massacre in Florida was a member of his organization. A representative of the Republic of Florida militia told the Anti-Defamation League that Nikolas Cruz, 19, was "brought up" into the group by one of its members.
That group refers to itself as "a white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics." On their website, they claim their "current short-term goals are to occupy urban areas to recruit suburban young whites" for "the ultimate creation of a white ethnostate." The group is reportedly only a few years old, said CBS News.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Cruz participated in paramilitary drills with the Republic of Florida. He was also reportedly trained by the group.
A training video posted by the hate group features members in camouflage saluting each other. The lyrics of the music used in that footage sing, “They call me Nazi / and I'm proud of it."
Republic of Florida (ROF) leader Jordan Jereb told The Associated Press that his group holds "spontaneous random demonstrations.” He said he didn’t know Cruz personally. As for the school shooting, Jereb said that the teen "acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he's solely responsible for what he just did."
Jereb hinted that the suspected shooter may have had "trouble with a girl" and pointed to the fact that the horrific act was committed on Valentine's Day.
Wednesday’s school shooting marks the second committed by an alleged white supremacist in the past two months alone. In December, William Atchison (who was later reported as a white supremacist) allegedly killed two students before shooting himself in New Mexico.
Cruz faces 17 counts of premeditated murder, one for each victim of the Parkland shooting.
[Photo: Broward County Jail]