Home News Three killed in racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville

Three killed in racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville

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Joseph Wilkinson
New York Daily News

A man fatally shot three Black people inside a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday in what authorities described as a hate crime.

“Plainly put: This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a press conference. “He wanted to kill n—–s. That’s the one and only time I’ll use that word.”

The shooter was found dead inside the store. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot, according to police.

The gunman was identified only as a white male in his early 20s. Though Waters said he would “love to” release his name, investigators had not positively identified him as of Saturday night.

Waters said the gunman was not part of any large group and acted completely alone, leaving no further danger to the community after his death.

“The hate that motivated the shooter’s killing spree adds an additional layer of heartbreak,” Waters told reporters. “I am sickened by this cowardly shooter’s personal ideology of hate.”

The attacker used two weapons, a Glock handgun and an AR-15-style rifle, according to Waters. The sheriff displayed pictures of the weapons, which showed swastikas had been painted on the rifle.

Just after 1:15 p.m., the shooter texted his father and told him to check the computer, Waters said. About 40 minutes later, his family called police, but by then he had already started shooting inside the Dollar General.

When officers arrived, the shooter barricaded himself inside the store, initiating a standoff that lasted around two hours.

Prior to entering the store, the attacker approached the campus of Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution less than 2 miles down the road from the Dollar General, the sheriff said. School security determined he was acting suspicious and turned him away, so he walked down the road to the dollar store.

Following the shooting, police learned of three manifestos written by the gunman. One was meant for his parents, one for the media and one for law enforcement, Waters said.

“Portions of these manifestos detail the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate,” Waters said.

The shooting came exactly five years after a man opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville. That attacker killed two people before dying by suicide.

According to the manifestos, the Dollar General killer was aware of that shooting and planned his own attack to coincide with the anniversary, Mayor Donna Deegan said.

Jacksonville was not alone in coping with the aftermath of a mass shooting on Saturday.

In Boston, eight people were shot at a parade in the early morning; in Oklahoma, five people were shot Friday night at a high school football game, and in Chicago, two people were shot at a Chicago White Sox game Friday evening.

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