Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.
Gunman in Jacksonville Hate Crime Fatally Shoots Three In Dollar General
Twenty-one-year-old gunman, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, killed three African-Americans at a Jacksonville Dollar General on Saturday, before killing himself.
A hate crime investigation is taking place in Jacksonville, Florida after now-deceased gunman and alleged white supremacist Ryan Christopher Palmeter used an AR-15-style rifle to kill three African-Americans during a rampage at a local Dollar General on Saturday (August 26). The assault weapon, which CNN says was “swastika-emblazoned,” claimed the lives of Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29.
Palmeter left his family’s Clay County home on Saturday at 11:40 AM, first arriving at the campus of historically Black college Edward Waters University, although he was turned away by security when he refused to identify himself.
After leaving EWU without incident, Palmeter returned to his vehicle, a gray Honda Element, arriving at the Dollar General location near Kings Road around 1 p.m. local time. There, a JSO’s ShotSpotter system notified police that 11 rounds were shot, and on a surveillance camera, Palmeter was caught shooting into Carr’s Black Kia, before entering into the store. While inside, Palmeter shot and killed Laguerre while other customers ran to the back of the Dollar General.
Palmeter briefly exited the store before re-entering one minute later, as he unsuccessfully attempted to shoot another surveillance camera. Gallion, who was entering the store with his girlfriend, was fatally shot, as Palmeter ran after another woman and attempted to shoot her, although she escaped him and fled through the rear door. Ultimately, Palmeter retreated to the store’s back office, where he texted his father, “Use a screwdriver to get into my room.”
Palmeter reportedly texted his father to look on his computer, where “several manifestos” were found, detailing the 21-year-old’s plan to attack and a suicide note, with racist writings and slurs being used. Around 2 p.m., Palmeter’s father called the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, but by then, it was too late.
“Portions of these manifestos detail the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate,” said Sheriff TK Waters during a press conference on Sunday (August 27). “Plainly put, the shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people. He wanted to kill n******. That’s the one and only time I’ll use that word. I want to be very clear that there’s absolutely no evidence that the shooter is part of any large group. We know that he acted completely alone.”
The Jacksonville shooting comes just one year after 10 people were killed in a racist mass shooting at Tops Market in Buffalo, New York. In February, the gunman, Payton Gendron, was sentenced to life in prison.
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