Florida School Shooter Nikolas Cruz is a Registered Democrat-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz is a registered Democrat.
False claims that Nikolas Cruz is a registered Democrat are based on public voter registration information for a man with a similar name.
The rumor surfaced on social media in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead in February 2018. It’s not clear where, exactly, the rumor originated. The Gateway Pundit, a conspiracy-minded website notorious for publishing very thinly-sourced stories that support a right-wing ideology, was a main booster of the rumor.
Florida voter information is public record. Unless a registered voter goes through a specific exemption process, his or her information can be searched online in a public database. Somebody used the database to search for Nikolas Cruz’s voter registration information — but they spelled his name wrong. A screen grab that made the rounds on social media showed registration information for a man named Nicolas (with a “c”) Cruz. Of course, the school shooter’s name is Nikolas with a “k.”
When the correct spelling of Cruz’s name is entered into the search field, no results come back. That means Nikolas Cruz was not a registered Democrat or Republican — unless he went through a specific process to request that his information being exempt from public record (which seems unlikely).
As is often the case in tragedies involving mass shootings, people from both sides of the political spectrum attempted to push the blame for Cruz onto the other side. Similarly, early rumors claimed that Cruz was a member of Antifa. Later, Instagram photos of Cruz wearing President Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” And TMZ published a video of Cruz doing target practice in his back yard with a MAGA hat on as well:
Nikolas Cruz, Target Practice Wearing 'Make America Great Again' Hat https://t.co/W8ShLnofYc
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 16, 2018
Given all that, we’re calling claims that Nikolas Cruz was a registered Democrat “fiction.”