Police in Florida are casting some doubt on the testimony of a white supremacist who claimed the suspect in Wednesday’s school shooting was affiliated with his militia.
Jordan Jereb made the allegation in comments to reporters the day after at least 17 students and faculty died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Later in the day Thursday, however, authorities said they had uncovered no evidence linking 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz to the white-nationalist group known as the Republic of Florida Militia, as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat.
“We are still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” said Leon County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Grady Jordan.
After that statement from police, Jereb did not immediately respond to news outlets seeking a comment.
In a social media post, the paramilitary leader, who has described himself as a “right-wing extremist nut,” blamed lack of sleep in part for what he called a “legit misunderstanding” surrounding his earlier comments.
He suggested he had possibly mistaken Cruz for someone with a similar name.
Jereb has faced his own criminal charges, including accusations in 2016 of threatening a staffer working in the office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jereb also has a reputation as “somewhat of a publicity seeker.”
He reportedly complained about the SPLC in 2014 because the non-profit group had not yet declared his militia a hate group.
Michael Tubbs, another hate-group leader in Florida, previously warned others that Jereb was “a nut job who should be avoided.”
[Featured image: Nikolas Cruz/Broward County Jail, Jordan Jereb/Leon County Jail]