Jacksonville Tragedy: 3 Killed in Racist Shooting by Ex-HBCU Applicant

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A racially motivated shooting in a Jacksonville, Florida Dollar General store resulted in the deaths of three black people. The shooter, a white man in his early twenties, had initially been turned away from a nearby historically black university before proceeding to the store, armed with an AR-15 style rifle and a handgun. The FBI has launched a federal civil rights investigation and will treat the incident as a hate crime.

CNN — 

Florida Shooting Targets Black Community

A gunman killed three at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida, in what officials call a racially motivated attack. Prior to the shooting, the suspect, a young White male, was turned away from the nearby historically Black Edward Waters University.

Having donned bulletproof vest and mask, he then proceeded to the Dollar General store, fatally shooting three black victims and then himself. The victims comprised two males and one female, said Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters.

According to Sheriff Waters, the shooter uttered racial slurs and left notes detailing his hate ideology. The shooter appeared to have acted alone, targeting the victims due to racial hatred.

Following the incident, Edward Waters University initiated a lockdown while the FBI launched a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting, classifying it as a hate crime.

The shooting is a tragic addition to multiple shootings reported across the US in a span of two days, emphasizing the persistent issue of gun violence in the country.

Timeline of Events

The shooter, a Clay County resident, embarked on his journey to Jacksonville on the day of the attack. He instructed his father to check his computer, though it’s not specified what the computer held. His father called the Clay County Sheriff’s office shortly after the shooting spree began at the Dollar General.

The weapons found at the scene, including a firearm with swastikas drawn on it, didn’t belong to the shooter’s parents. The investigation into their legal purchase is ongoing.

Shooter’s Background Probed

Sheriff Waters revealed that the shooter was previously detained under the state’s Baker Act, which enables involuntary detainment during mental health crises. Those detained under the act are typically prohibited from purchasing firearms. The shooter’s 2017 detainment is being investigated to determine if firearms were legally accessed.

Additionally, the shooter’s writings suggest awareness of a 5-year old mass shooting incident in Jacksonville, possibly prompting him to choose the date for his attack. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security stated that the department is committed to preventing such tragic events.

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