Three Dead in ‘Racially Motivated’ Jacksonville Shooting, Sheriff Says – Rolling Stone

A gunman shot and killed three people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday in what the local sheriff described as a “racially motivated” shooting during a press conference held on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, federal law enforcement official on Sunday identified the gunman as Ryan Christopher Palmeter, 21, as The New York Times reports.

Two men and one woman, all of whom were Black. were killed. The victims’ names have not been released. FBI special agent Sherri Onks said during the press conference that the bureau has opened a federal civil rights investigation and that it is being treated as a hate crime.

The shooter killed himself after killing the victims, Sheriff T.K. Waters said. The gunman, who was described as white and in his 20s, had written several manifestos — including one to his parents, one to the news media, and one to federal agents.

“Portions of these manifestos detailed the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate,” Waters said. “Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people.”

The gunman, who has not been named, had left his parents’ house in Clay County at around 11:40 a.m. After heading to nearby county Jacksonville, he texted his father, telling him to check his computer, which led his family to notify the Clay County’s sheriff’s office. By this point, the gunman had already started shooting, Waters said.

He entered the Dollar General dressed in a tactical vest and was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 rifle, which had swastika markings on it, officials said. Prior to heading to the Dollar General, the shooter was seen nearby on the campus of Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution, the sheriff said.

“This is a dark day in Jacksonville’s history,” Waters said. “Any loss of life is tragic, but the hate that motivated the shooter’s killing spree adds an additional layer of heartbreak. There’s no place for hate in our community, and this is not Jacksonville. As a member of this Jacksonville community, I am sickened by this cowardly shooter’s personal ideology of hate.”

Saturday’s shooting coincided with the five-year anniversary of a shooting at a videogame tournament in Jacksonville that left two people dead and 10 injured. Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said the gunman’s manifestos suggested he was aware of the anniversary.

“We must do everything that we can to dissuade this type of hate,” Deegan said at the press conference. “I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating this is for all of us because we’ve seen it too much. We’ve seen it too much.”


This is a developing story…

This article was updated on Aug. 27 at 1:28 p.m. to include the identity of the gunman.

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