White supremacist militia leader walks back claim Florida gunman trained with group before school shooting
Nikolas Cruz, seen here in a booking photo obtained February 15, 2018 courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff's Office, has been charged with premeditated murder in the shooting deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school. (Broward County Sheriff's Office/AFP / Handout)

The man charged in this week's Florida school shooting allegedly trained with a white supremacist group.

A spokesman for the right-wing Republic of Florida group claimed accused gunman Nikolas Cruz had been "brought up" by another member of the organization and took part in at least one training exercise in the Tallahassee area, reported ADL.

Jordan Jereb, who is believed to be the militia group's leader, confirmed the association after self-described ROF members claimed on the online 4chan forum that Cruz had been member.

The anti-government paramilitary group, which is only a few years old, describes itself as a “white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics” and promotes the creation of a “white ethnostate."

Jereb told ADL that his group had not directed Cruz to commit the shooting at his former school, and he said the ROF did not support his action.

Local law enforcement sources have been unable to confirm any relationship between Cruz and the Republic of Florida. Jereb later claimed there was a "legit misunderstanding," which he blamed on not sleeping "for like 2 days."

"It may seem odd that Jereb would bring attention to his group by claiming a connection to Cruz, but Jereb has always been somewhat of a publicity seeker," the Southern Poverty Law Center said.