Fla. Dollar General Store mass shooter’s manifestos indicate ‘racially motivated’ hate crime

Tragedy struck in Florida on Saturday when a disturbed individual murdered three black people at a Dollar General store in what officials have described as a “racially motivated” shooting.

In an incident that will dominate headlines for its racial aspect, a disturbed white man who was reportedly wearing a mask and was armed with an AR-15 and a Glock entered the discount chain’s location on Kings Road in Northwest Jacksonville early Saturday afternoon and gunned down the victims in cold blood before killing himself.

The shooter was identified as a man in his 20s from Clay County who lived with his parents and who had previously been involved in a domestic violence incident and was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for examination, his name was not immediately made available.

“He hated black people,” said Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters of the gunman who had a swastika painted on his gun and left behind multiple manifestos containing his “disgusting ideology of hate,” the lawman said.

(Video: YouTube/News4JAX)

The massacre took place blocks away from Edward Waters University, a small historically black school where the shooter was seen before he went to the Dollar General to carry out his murderous mission. Students were altered to the potential danger and were told to stay inside of their residence halls.

It is unknown whether the shooter intended to attack the school. “I can’t tell you what his mindset was while he was there, but he did go there,” Waters said.

Just before the attack, the gunman texted his father to check his computer and his parents then called 911 but it was too late to stop the slaughter of the victims, two men and a woman, who their troubled son slaughtered.

“He hated Black people,” Sheriff Waters said after he reviewed the writings, adding that the shooter acted alone and that “there is absolutely no evidence the shooter is part of any larger group.”

(Video: YouTube/First Coast News)

“This is a dark day in Jacksonville’s history. There is no place for hate in this community,” Sheriff Waters said. “I am sickened by this cowardly shooter’s personal ideology.”

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan was “heartbroken” by the carnage in her community.

“This is a community that has suffered again and again. So many times this is where we end up,” she said. “This is something that should not and must not continue to happen in our community.”

“This is unacceptable,” she told local news outlet News4JAX at the scene of the shooting. “One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take.”

“Hate crimes are always and will always remain a top priority for the FBI because they are not only an attack on a victim, they’re also meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community,” said Sherri Onks, special agent in charge of the Jacksonville FBI office who said that the feds are opening an investigation into the shooting and that FBI will be treating it as a hate crime.

“Hate crimes are always and will always remain a top priority for the FBI because they are not only an attack on a victim, they’re also meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community,” she said, according to News4JAX.

“This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions. He took the coward’s way out,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who spoke with Sheriff Waters by phone, calling the killer a “scumbag,” the Associated Press reported.

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were both briefed on the tragic situation.

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Chris Donaldson

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