White Gunman In Florida Kills 3 Black Victims In Hate Crime
The Black community of Jacksonville, Florida, is dealing with the fallout of a fatal hate crime after a white gunman racially targeted Black patrons inside a Dollar General in a primarily Black area of the city on Aug. 27.
Three people were killed.
The motivations behind the fatal attack became clear after one weapon used to commit the murders was found to be painted with a swastika. According to the Associated Press, officials also confirmed that the shooter had posted racist messages on social media sites.
Authorities didn’t immediately release the names of the victims or the shooter, who killed himself at the scene.
The man, who was confirmed to be in his 20s, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to commit the killings, starting the shootout a little before 2 p.m. ET. The Dollar General is within walking distance from Edward Waters University, an HBCU, where a security officer also confirmed sightings of the gunman on campus. The gunman left the grounds shortly after being asked to identify himself, but put on a vest and mask before leaving.
Before committing the shooting, the gunman, a Clay County resident, sent his father, with whom he resides, a text message to check his computer. When his father found his racist language and called authorities, the shooting was already underway.
Based on the evidence retrieved from the gunman’s computer, it is believed that he committed the hate crime to pay a twisted homage to a prior Jacksonville shooting. It was the fifth anniversary of a shooter fatally killing attendees of a video game tournament in the city. The shooter of that 2018 incident killed himself following the attack as well, the AP reported.
The sheriff over the more recent shooting called it a “dark day” for the city and its history. Florida leaders condemned the hate crime as well, including Governor Ron DeSantis, whose conservative beliefs regarding Black history not being taught in school has offended many Black Floridians.
“This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions,” shared DeSantis, who did not go to the city immediately. “He took the coward’s way out.”