US: Three Killed in Florida Shooting, Gunman’s Manifestos Reveal Motive – News18

Last Updated: August 27, 2023, 06:16 IST

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, along with Mayor Deegan and other LEO partners and city leaders gathered today to speak about a shooting involving three victims – all of which died. (Image: Sheriff’s Office/X account)

Florida shooting in Jacksonville claims three Black lives. Gunman’s hate-filled motives investigated as FBI labels it a hate crime

A racially motivated gunman on Saturday killed three Black people in a discount store in the US state of Florida before taking his own life following a standoff with the police. “He targeted a certain group of people and that’s Black people. That’s what he said he wanted to kill. And that’s very clear,” Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters said during a press conference.

The shooter, who has not yet been identified, entered the dollar store wearing a tactical vest and armed with an AR-style rifle. The incident took place in the city of Jacksonville near Edward Waters University, a historically Black college in the southern US state.

Manifestos discovered by the gunman’s family shortly before the attack “detail the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate,” Waters said, and at least one of the guns had hand-drawn swastikas on it. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would investigate the shooting as a hate crime, said Sherri Onks, the bureau’s special agent for Jacksonville.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis decried the “horrific” shooting and called the gunman a “scumbag.” “He was targeting people based on their race, that is totally unacceptable,” said DeSantis. “This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions and so he took the coward’s way out.”

The shooting was the latest in the string of gun violence this weekend in the United States. At least 470 mass shootings have occurred in the United States this year, CNN reported, citing the Gun Violence Archive. The nation surpassed the 400 mark in July, – the earliest month such a high number has been recorded since 2013.

Mass shootings have become common in the country, with easy access to firearms in most states and more guns than citizens. The Florida shooting comes after a self-declared white supremacist killed 10 Black people in a live-streamed shooting rampage at a supermarket in New York in May last year.

Payton Gendron planned the attack for months, targeting Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo because of the large African-American community in the surrounding neighborhood. The latest shooting in Jacksonville is five years to the day after a mass shooting in the city when a gunman at a video game tournament killed two and wounded several others before killing himself.

(With agency inputs)

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