Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old man accused of murdering 17 students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, reportedly got at least one of the guns he owns from a white nationalist organization.
White nationalist leader Jordan Jereb told the Daily Beast that his organization — a separatist group that aims to create an all-white “ethnostate” in Florida — supplied Cruz with a gun, although he didn’t believe that it was the same gun used in the shooting on Wednesday.
“I think somebody bought him a Mosin–Nagant, but that’s bolt action,” he said. “He had a semi-automatic in the school.”
Jereb said he didn’t want to “glorify” Cruz’s actions, but he did say that the alleged shooter “was pretty efficient in what he did.” What’s more, he credited Cruz’s training with white supremacists for his efficiency in killing students.
“He probably used that training to do what he did yesterday,” he said, before adding that “nobody I know told him to do that, he just freaked out.”
As far as motives go, Jereb said that it could be that there were a lot of Jewish students at the high school.
“We’re not a big fan of Jews,” Jereb explained.
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.