Update: This post was updated to indicate that local law enforcement has reportedly not yet found any connection between Cruz and white nationalist groups.
While the self-proclaimed leader of a white nationalist militia claimed that the alleged gunman who went on a violent rampage at a Florida high school Wednesday was a member, local law enforcement has reportedly found no ties between the suspect and the group.
Nikolas Cruz was charged with murder after storming Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with a firearm Wednesday, ending the lives of 17 teachers and students and injuring over a dozen others. Jordan Jereb, the self-identified leader of the white nationalist militia Republic of Florida told the Associated Press that Cruz was a member of his organization, but Leon County law enforcement sources told the Tallahassee Democrat that there are no clear connections.
“We are still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the shooter,” Leon County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Grady Jordan told reporters Thursday.
The ROF, which describes itself as a “white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics,” aims to build a white ethno-state in Florida, and Cruz reportedly participated in paramilitary training drills, Jereb revealed to the Anti-Defamation League. The group’s apparent spokesman stressed that the ROF did not order Cruz to open fire on the high school in Parkland.
“He probably used that training to do what he did yesterday,” Jereb told the Daily Beast.
Former classmates revealed to the Daily Beast that Cruz embraced right-wing politics and has been seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, but the observations were unable to be verified.
There is significant evidence that the white nationalist claims are exaggerated if not completely fabricated. The motive behind Wednesday’s attack is still unclear.
ALSO WATCH: Graphic Video Footage From The Shooting
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