RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Excerpt: "The suspect in the Florida school shooting was a member of a white nationalist group, according to the Associated Press and ABC News."

Florida school shooting suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. (photo: AP)
Florida school shooting suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. (photo: AP)

Suspect in Florida School Shooting Was Member of a White Nationalist Group

By ABC News and Associated Press

15 February 18


he suspect in the Florida school shooting was a member of a white nationalist group, according to the Associated Press and ABC News.

Officials have identified the Florida school shooting suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Here's what we know about Cruz:

Wednesday's Events

Gunfire erupted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly before dismissal on Wednesday, Feb. 14. At least 17 people were killed and 23 injured during the shooting rampage, a mixture of students and adults.

The suspect was armed with an AR-15 and had numerous magazines, law enforcement officials said.

According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Cruz was arrested without incident after he was located off the school grounds in a nearby community. Cruz reportedly left the school by blending in with other students who were trying to escape.

After Cruz was apprehended, he was taken from the scene in an ambulance. Hours later he was later seen being led into a local police station wearing a hospital gown.

White Nationalist Ties

Jordan Jereb, a leader of the white supremacist group Republic of Florida, confirmed to the Associated Press that Cruz was a member. The group describes itself as a "white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics" and seeking to create a "white ethnostate." Jereb also said that Cruz participated in paramilitary drills in Tallahassee.

"He acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he's solely responsible for what he just did," Jereb said.

In addition, the Anti-Defamation League told ABC News that Jereb had also confirmed to them that Cruz was a member of the Republic of Florida.

Social Media

There is no clear motive, but Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said they'd already begun to comb through Cruz's social media pages.

"We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on, and some of the things that have come to mind are very, very disturbing," he said.

Seventeen-year-old junior Matthew Walker spoke to ABC News, saying Cruz was known to show off knives and guns on his social media accounts.

"He was going class to class just shooting at random kids," he said. "Everything he posts [on social media] is about weapons. It's sick."

Family Background

Cruz was adopted as an infant by two parents who have since died, a relative told ABC News. He lost his adoptive mother suddenly just months ago.

His adoptive parents were Roger and Lynda Cruz, according to cousin Kathie Blaine. Lynda got the flu but was otherwise healthy last year when she checked into a clinic. She wound up being rushed to the hospital and dying of pneumonia. Roger died of a heart attack in 2005.

Abuse Allegations, School Troubles

Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior, said Cruz had been abusive to his girlfriend. After they broke up, she said, Cruz got into a fight with her new boyfriend, leading to his expulsion.

Before he was expelled, a former teacher and classmate told ABC News, bullet fragments were found in his backpack after he'd been in a fight. After this, he was banned from carrying a backpack on campus.

Students, Others Reflect

Those who knew Cruz are painting a picture of a man obsessed with weapons.

A former classmate, Joshua Charo, said that Cruz spoke about shooting rats with a BB gun. Another student who was in J-ROTC with Cruz said that he once attempted to sell knives to a classmate.

According to other students, Cruz was the subject of jokes from other kids. A student told WFOR-TV that other students "knew it was going to be him."

"A lot of people were saying it was going to be him. A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school," the student said. "It turns out that everyone predicted it. That's crazy."

Employees at a nearby Dollar Tree told ABC News that Cruz used to work in their store and described him as a loyal responsible employee. They were shocked that Cruz, who they said was a nice kid always who was in a good mood, was implicated in the shooting. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+16 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-02-15 16:00
"A man obsessed with weapons" -- sounds like a lot of Americans.

In the last 17 years, the US government has spent about 5 to 8 trillion dollars fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe from terrorists. In the same period, the US government has spent ZERO dollars fighting gun obsessed crazy people and keeping Americans safe from domestic terrorists and members of white extremist groups.

How many Americans have died in the last 17 years from terrorist attacks -- about 3000 including the people on 9-11.

How many people have died from domestic terrorists -- tens of thousands. These shooting happen several times a week. They are not even reported unless the shooting is at a school or the death toll rises about 12.

The government is at fault for allowing the gun obsessed crazy people to grow without restriction.
+8 # bread and butter 2018-02-15 16:58
Doesn't that make this terrorism?

I'm always confused about the definition of "terrorism". It seems to change, depending on who the finger is pointing at.
+17 # Wise woman 2018-02-15 18:55
Prayers and condolences from the Mic are total BS. He couldn't care less. We are the murder capital of the industrialized world. Not something we should be proud of but evidently, the GOP and the NRA are. What a bunch of sickos they are to want to see our country's own kids killed on a weekly basis. They are the sewer of immortality!
+3 # Texas Aggie 2018-02-15 23:13
What's interesting is that the right wing noise machine has picked up on his last name and is claiming that a baby adopted by people with Hispanic surnames is thus an Hispanic.
+6 # chrisconno 2018-02-16 00:00
What is the difference between Al Qaeda, ISIS and white supremacists? The only difference I can see is that ISIS and Al Qaeda aren't attacking our homeland. Trump's racist encouragement, travel bans aimed only at people of color other than pasty, and his rounding up of so many immigrants who have done nothing but be good citizens is the real terrorism we face. He is willing to sacrifice out kids so he can cause unrest and division between us. Trump and the republicans are state sponsored tourists. Lets hope they don't come disappear me tonight.
-5 # Depressionborn 2018-02-16 09:16
Ash asks why it is becoming hard to find honest info. Obviously he reads too many rsn posts.
+2 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-02-16 09:33
By US standards, it is reasonable to charge Cruz & Jereb’s group with terrorism: only, they’re white. & see below.
0 # Rational Voice 2018-02-16 11:53
Republicans love guns more than god.
+1 # Johnny 2018-02-16 13:14
Is anyone surprised, in a country that from the extermination of the native Americans, murder of 5 1/2 million Vietnamese, and continuing drone, bomb, and missile murder of men, women, and children in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. has proven the utter contempt in which its culture holds human life?

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.