As a grieving public and police investigators continue to seek out answers on the motives of the perpetrator who carried out the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that murdered 17 innocent people, every piece of evidence is being parsed for clues.
In the most recent wrinkle of a tragic story, it is being reported that police investigators found rifle magazines in the possession of Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz bearing the ‘swastika’ symbol infamously used by National Socialists during World War II. CBS News reported:
Florida school shooting suspecthad swastikas ammunition magazines he brought into on Feb. 14, a federal law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CBS News on Tuesday.
Further details from the investigation describe a crime scene where the suspect Nikolas Cruz attempted to knock out a third-floor window in order to create a “sniper’s nest” to fire down on people. The suspect fired 16 rounds into the hurricane-resistant glass, but was unable to knock it out, potentially saving some lives as schoolchildren and educators exited the building.
Cruz “brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault,” police told CBS News. The suspect is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder and may face the death penalty. Cruz has reportedly confessed to police that he carried out the crime.
Several reports following the Parkland atrocity circulated claiming that he was a “white nationalist,” although Tallahassee Police later clarified that there was no evidence to support the claim made by Jordan Jereb, the leader of the extremist group Republic of Florida, that Cruz was a member of his group.
Other reports about Cruz’s potential motive include those about his voter registration (not confirmed to be Democrat), Islamic extremist interests, wearing “antifa” gear, and why in one photo he had on a MAGA hat. It appears that Cruz was a disturbed individual with an ideologically inconsistent worldview, much like the Aurora shooter Jared Loughner, who endorsed Hitler’s Nazi manifesto “Mein Kampf” as well as the “Communist Manifesto” of Karl Marx.
It is sad, but highly likely, that the reports of a swastika on the shooter’s magazines will fuel attempts to tie Cruz to the political right, but a more sober analysis will shun this dishonest ideological narrative and see him for who he is: A broken young man with an extremely toxic worldview.
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