Florida shooting suspect 'is part of white supremacist group'

ANI | Updated: Feb 16, 2018 03:42 IST

Washington DC [United States], Feb 16 (ANI): The leader of a white supremacist group on Thursday claimed that Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooting suspect, was a member of his group and had participated in paramilitary drills.

Jordan Jereb, the leader of a group called the Republic of Florida, said that he didn't know the 19-year-old suspect personally and that "he acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he's solely responsible for what he just did," the local media reported.

17 people died on Wednesday when Cruz, who was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, opened fire.

Cruz was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday.

Students who had been at school with Cruz said many classmates had predicted he could "do something" to harm them and that he had previously brought guns to school, The Guardian reported.

Florida governor Rick Scott vowed new measures on access to guns for people with a history of mental illness.

"The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school," The Guardian quoted him as saying.

United States President Donald Trump too focused on the young man's mental health.

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!," Trump wrote on Twitter.

The President is also planning to meet with the families of the students and teachers who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. (ANI)