The shooter, whose name had not been released as of Saturday evening, wore a tactical vest and used an AR-style rifle and handgun. The guns had swastikas drawn on them. WJXT reported that the gunman was seen on the campus of nearby Edward Waters University shortly before the shooting. Waters said the gunman wrote manifestos detailing “a disgusting ideology of hate” to his parents, the media and federal agencies. “This was, quite frankly, a maniac who decided he wanted to take lives,” Waters said, according to NBC News. “He targeted a certain group of people, and that’s black people — that’s what he said he wanted to kill.”
BREAKING: Several people are dead after a mass shooter barricaded themselves inside a Jacksonville, FL Dollar General store.The shooter was seen putting on a ballistic vest before entering the store. pic.twitter.com/yvjG9Ba9Fd — LifeandFortune (@LifeandFortune) August 26, 2023
According to NBC, the shooter left nearby Clay County, where he lived with his parents, and headed to Jacksonville around 11:39 a.m. He texted his father at 1:18 p.m. telling him to check his computer. At 1:53 p.m., the family called police, but by that time the shooting had already taken place. The gunman had previously been on law enforcement’s radar. In 2016, he was involved in a call related to a domestic disturbance that resulted in no arrests. The next year, he was subject to the Baker Act, under which someone is given an involuntary mental health evaluation if he is “believed to be mentally unstable and a potential harm to [himself] or others,” NBC reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis commented on the shooting, saying that “the scumbag that did this was racially motivated.” “This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions,” he said. “And so he took the coward’s way out. But we condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
“Portions of these manifestos detail the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate. This shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people.” pic.twitter.com/OICdJ3n7xb— Acyn (@Acyn) August 26, 2023