‘Man Goes on Racially Motivated Shooting Rampage, Killing Three’

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A tragic incident unfolded in Jacksonville, Florida, when a white man armed with a high-powered rifle and a handgun opened fire at a Dollar General store, resulting in the deaths of three innocent Black individuals. The shooter later turned the gun on himself. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that this racially motivated crime was driven by the shooter’s deep-seated hatred towards Black people.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters stated in a press conference, “This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people.”

The shooter, who was described as a white male wearing a tactical vest, remains unidentified. Sheriff Waters revealed that all three victims were Black.

According to authorities, the shooter acted alone and had expressed his hatred for Black people through several manifestos intended for the media, his parents, and law enforcement.

The weapons used by the shooter included a Glock handgun and an “AR-15 style” rifle adorned with swastikas. The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic long gun commonly associated with mass shootings.

Sheriff Waters expressed the profound heartbreak caused by the hate that motivated the shooter’s killing spree.

Prior to the attack, the shooter was seen at Edward Waters University, a local historically Black college, where he prepared by donning his vest and a mask. He then proceeded to the Dollar General, a widely recognized discount store chain in the United States.

Sherri Onks, the special agent in charge of the Jacksonville FBI office, has confirmed that a civil rights investigation has been initiated, and the incident will be treated as a hate crime.

Onks emphasized the significance of addressing hate crimes, stating, “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.”

US President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been briefed on the tragic incident.

Unfortunately, mass shootings have become all too common in the United States. As per the Gun Violence Archive, there have been over 469 mass shootings in 2023 alone. The archive defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are wounded or killed, excluding the shooter.

The shooting in Jacksonville bears striking similarities to previous acts of violence. Last year, a white supremacist killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, while another tragic shooting occurred five years ago during a video game tournament in Jacksonville, resulting in the deaths of two individuals, including the shooter.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis denounced the shooting, branding the shooter as a coward for taking his own life. He affirmed, “The shooting, based on the manifesto that they discovered from the scumbag who did this, was racially motivated. He was targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable.”

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