By Ben Norton
The 19-year-old charged with gunning down dozens of students at a Florida high school is a white supremacist who called for extreme acts of racist violence, according to his social media posts.
Suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz said he hated “jews, ni**ers, immigrants” and fantasized about killing people of color.
CNN obtained private messages Cruz wrote in an Instagram message group he titled “Murica (American flag emoji) (eagle emoji) great.”
The alleged shooter said he wanted to kill Mexicans and put Black people in chains.
Cruz also condemned white women in interracial relationships as “traitors,” and declared that gay people should be shot in the back of the head.
Cruz, who was heavily armed with an AR-15 rifle, allegedly opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. Seventeen students were killed in the mass shooting, and 19 more were injured. Nineteen-year-old Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Multiple classmates of the suspected shooter also confirmed that Cruz has far-right political views, hates Muslims, and has repeatedly worn Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats.
On his Instagram account, Cruz posted photos wearing Trump’s MAGA hats. He also frequently posted photos posing with guns. One photo shows the suspected shooter wearing a U.S. Army cap while holding four knives between his fingers.
A classmate told the Daily Beast, “He would degrade Islamic people as terrorists and bombers. I’ve seen him wear a Trump hat.”
Another peer said of Cruz, “He would always talk about how he felt whites were a bit higher than everyone.” This classmate told the Daily Beast, “He’d be like ‘My people are over here industrializing the world and starting new things, while your people [meaning blacks and Latinos] are just taking up space.’”
In the past several months, Cruz wrote multiple YouTube comments saying he was planning a school shooting, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He also said that he hoped to murder antifascists. On a right-wing YouTube video, Cruz wrote, “Im going watch them sheep fall fuck antifa i wish to kill as many as i can [sic].”
President Trump, whose hats were worn by the suspected shooter, ignored Cruz’s far-right politics and instead blamed the attack on mental illness. Scientific research shows people with mental illness are in fact more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators of it.
Soon after the shooting, the spokesperson for a violent neo-Nazi group that calls itself Republic of Florida, Jordan Jereb, told the Associated Press that Cruz trained with the white supremacists in Tallahassee, where they did paramilitary drills. Republic of Florida seeks to create a white ethnostate in the United State.
The Real News was not able to independently verify Jereb’s claims, which he repeated to the Anti-Defamation League and the Daily Beast.
Local authorities later investigated and said they were not able to find any evidence of ties to the fascist militia.
Jereb likewise walked back his claims in a post on social media, in which he used fascist rhetoric and attacked the “Jew media.”
Alt-right provocateurs have in the past intentionally spread fake news in a dishonest effort to discredit media outlets. Some critics raised the possibility that Jereb could have made up these claims to bring mass publicity to the fascist group.
Regardless of the veracity of Jereb’s claims, Cruz’s public and private posts on Instagram, along with the independent testimonies of mulitple classmates, reveal very clearly that the alleged shooter was a far-right white supremacist who had fantasized about murdering and abusing people of color and immigrants.
This article was repeatedly updated after its initial publication, as further details emerged. It was last edited on February 19.