(DCWatchdog.com) – The recent mass shooting at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, has been updated with additional information indicating that the shooter targeted and killed three Black individuals using a rifle marked with swastikas. Authorities believe the act was a result of racial hatred.
Three victims, consisting of two Black men and one Black woman, were killed by a white assailant who ended his own life before the police could apprehend him.
Prior to this tragedy, the perpetrator, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, was seen near an established historically black college’s vicinity. Reports from the police confirm that he had penned “several manifestos” in which he voiced his hatred of Blacks.
During a media briefing, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters commented, “This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people.” Further, Waters said bluntly, “He wanted to kill n——.”
Palmeter, thought to be in his early twenties, walked into the store equipped with a tactical vest, a Glock, and an “AR-15 style” rifle decorated with swastikas. Still, authorities underscored that there isn’t any concrete proof tying him to a broader extremist faction. Elaborating on this, Waters said, “This was, quite frankly, a maniac who decided he wanted to take lives. He targeted a certain group of people, and that’s Black people, that’s what he said he wanted to kill. And that’s very clear.”
Historical data indicates that Palmeter was involuntarily committed in 2017 under the provisions of the “Baker Act.” Additionally, he was implicated in a domestic situation a year prior, although it did not culminate in any arrests. His residence was in Clay County with his parents, which was subsequently searched by law enforcement.
Upon discussing the incident with Sheriff Waters, Gov. Ron DeSantis labeled the shooter a “scumbag,” stating, “He was targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable. This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions. He took the coward’s way out. We condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms.”
A video capturing DeSantis’s remarks is available for viewing at the end of this article.
The FBI is now treating this incident as a potential hate crime.
This shooting eerily mirrors an incident from five years prior when a separate individual shot and wounded two and injured eleven during a gaming event in Jacksonville, later ending his own life.
Here is the video of DeSantis:
NEW: Gov. Ron DeSantis denounces "coward" Jacksonville shooter who allegedly targeted Black people
“This guy killed himself rather than face the music. He took the coward’s way out. We condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms."pic.twitter.com/IuZ5y3y5cj
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) August 26, 2023