Three people were killed in a racially motivated shooting at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday.
The gunman reportedly targeted Black individuals in an attack authorities described as a hate crime.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the shooter was a white man in his 20s who took his own life after the shooting. The suspect left behind manifestos expressing hateful, racist ideology that outlined his motive.
All three victims fatally shot were Black, according to the sheriff. The shooting occurred just after 1 p.m. near Edward Waters University, a historically Black college where students were told to shelter in place.
“The individual returned to their car and left campus without incident. The encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by EWU security,” according to the university news release.
Sheriff Waters stated the gunman was seen on campus before going to the Dollar General while wearing body armor and a mask. He was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun marked with swastikas.
The shooter lived in nearby Clay County with his parents. His father contacted authorities after finding manifestos on the son’s computer, but the attack was already underway by then.
After barricading himself in the store post-shooting, the gunman died by suicide. Mayor Donna Deegan said victims were shot inside or outside the Dollar General.
The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the mass shooting as a hate crime.”We have opened a federal civil rights investigation, and we will pursue this incident as a hate crime,” said Sherri Onks, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville office
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