Florida school shooting: White supremacist group claims suspect was an associate
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Florida school shooting: White supremacist group claims suspect was an associate

Far-right body tells the ADL that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was 'brought up' around extremist views

Students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla , after a shooter opened fire on the campus. 

(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla , after a shooter opened fire on the campus. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A white supremacist group told the Anti-Defamation that the gunman who killed at least 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, was associated with it.

Jordan Jereb, a representative for Republic of Florida, told the ADL that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz had been “brought up” by a member of the organisation.

Jereb also said that Cruz had participated in at least one of the group’s training exercises.

The group, described as “alt-right” by the ADL, had not asked or wanted Cruz to do the school shooting, Jereb said.

On Wednesday, Cruz used a semiautomatic rifle in a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Cruz, a former student at the school who was expelled, was in custody. At least five of the victims were Jewish.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who is Jewish, said Cruz’s social media posts painted “a very disturbing” picture, CNN reported. Mayor Beam Burr said Cruz “had been dealing with mental health issues.”

The ADL said it contacted a hotline for the Republic of Florida after self-described members of the group claimed Cruz as a member on 4chan, a web platform frequented by members of the far-right.

The Republic of Florida “borrows paramilitary concepts from the anti-government extremist militia movement (not itself a white supremacist movement),” according to the ADL, and wants to create a “white ethnostate” in Florida.

 

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