Amidst unconfirmed and potentially false reports that the suspected Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz belonged to a white supremacist group, which the Tallahassee Sheriff has outright denied, we have a report that adds further context to Cruz’s sense of identity.
Appearing on MSNBC with host Ali Velshi, Parkland teacher Alicia Blonde revealed her insight on Nikolas Cruz.
“Alicia, you talked to this man, Nicolas Cruz, probably about four years ago, he would have been 10th grade probably,” Velshi said.
“He was a sophomore, yes,” Blonde replied.
“What do you know of him?” Velshi asked.
“I remember him being a very quiet student,” she said. “He has a Hispanic background. I remember that he didn’t really like to speak Spanish too much. I think there was some pride issue there. He didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin, in his own culture.”
“He was very quiet. He sometimes turned in assignments, sometimes not,” she said. “I tried to, you know, break him a little bit and try to get into him a little bit and ask him questions, say, ‘Hey, what’s going on with you?’”
“I believe he was in JROTC at the time so sometimes he’d come in in uniform,” she said. “I communicated a couple of times with the JROTC professor and said, you know, ‘Hey, what’s going on with this kid?’ I know the members of JROTC are usually very disciplined students.”
“So it was unusual for him not to be disciplined?” the MSNBC reporter asked.
“Exactly. Very out of character,” she said. “You know, I remember him physically. You know, small in stature. Nice looking kid, but very quiet.”
As Americans still struggle to make sense of this seemingly senseless tragedy, at least we have a bit more information about the suspected shooter. As for those who claim that Cruz is a “white nationalist,” there seem to be even more questions for them to answer.
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