In the wake of the shooting at Mary Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, disturbing details continue to surface about alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz. In addition to the 19-year-old apparently had a history of domestic abuse and animal cruelty, he also reportedly had a habit of literally introducing himself as a “school shooter” and had been a member of a Florida white nationalist militia. Yet, despite all of these insurmountable signs that he was dangerous and would someday act out on these urges, tips to the FBI went ignored.
Likewise, now it’s coming out that Cruz was involved in online chat groups where he regularly spewed violently, racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. In August of 2017, Cruz joined a private Instagram chat group called “Murica (American flag emoji) (eagle emoji) great” that had six members all under the age of 18 (with the exception of Cruz), who declined to reveal their identities.
Throughout hundreds of messages, memes, and videos posted to the group, Cruz is said to have repeatedly made violent threats towards minorities, such as killing Mexicans and “keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks.”
One member even joked about Cruz’s particular venomousness, saying that although he hated black people, too, he didn’t “to a point I wanna kill the (sic) like nick.” Cruz said he hated black people simply because they were black; Cruz hated Jews because he believed they wanted to destroy the world.
After one member expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz agreed, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.” White women drew Cruz’s hatred as well, specifically those in interracial relationships, whom he referred to repeatedly as traitors.
Again, it’s worth stressing that the teen legally obtained the AR-15 machine gun that he used to mow down his peers.