(JTA) – Police in Florida said they found no connection between the Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz and a far-right paramilitary group from Tallahassee, they said. The Anti-Defamation League said Feb. 15 that a leader of the group had told them that Cruz had ties to the Republic of Florida secessionist group.
The leader, Jordan Jereb, said that Cruz was associated with ROF, having been “brought up” by another member, according to the ADL. Jereb also claimed that Cruz had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, carpooling with other ROF members from south Florida. After news outlets around the nation reported Cruz’s alleged ties, Leon County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan told the Tallahassee Democrat that investigative work did not yield any connections. In a post hours after speaking to ADL, a social media account bearing Jereb’s name said the whole thing was a “legit misunderstanding,” saying they have more than one member named Nikolas.
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.