Local law enforcement sources have not found a connection between accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz and a Tallahassee-based paramilitary group.
Leon County law enforcement sources told the Tallahassee Democrat that they could not find information linking Cruz, 19, to the Republic of Florida Militia, as claimed by the group’s self-proclaimed leader Jordan Jereb.
His comments to the Anti-Defamation League and The Associated Press set off a media firestorm Thursday at about midday that Cruz was connected to the alt-right, white nationalist group.
Hours after news outlets around the nation reported Cruz’s alleged ties, Leon County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan told the Tallahassee Democrat investigative work did not yield any connections.
“We are still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” Jordan said.
ordan and other law enforcement sources declined to confirm whether they had spoken to Jereb, who is no stranger to Tallahassee law enforcement.
Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday, investigators say, with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing 17 people and injuring 14. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Jereb said Cruz was a member of the group and had participated in paramilitary training drills in Tallahassee.
In a brief phone call with the Tallahassee Democrat, Jereb said there was “No way to put a good spin on all of this.”
“This is a negative situation,” he added before hanging up to speak with ABC News.
Jereb did not answer repeated phone calls following law enforcement officials saying they found little to lead them to believe Cruz was connected to the organization which has a scant following of around a dozen members.
In a profanity-laced post hours later on a social media site, an account bearing Jereb’s name said the whole thing was a “legit misunderstanding,” saying they have more than one member named Nikolas. He also said he not slept “for like 2 days.”
Jereb, a self-described “right-wing extremist nut,” faced charges in 2016 after threatening a high-ranking staff member of Gov. Rick Scott’s office.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
February 16th, 2018