Three Black People Killed in Racially Motivated Shooting in Jacksonville

A shooting incident at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida has left three Black people dead and the shooter, a white male in his early 20s, took his own life. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime. The shooter arrived at the store armed with a tactical vest, an AR-style rifle, and a handgun. He had previously been involved in a 2016 domestic call and had a Baker Act placed on him in 2017, allowing for temporary detention for a mental health examination. The shooter had written three manifestos expressing his hateful ideology, but there is no evidence suggesting he was part of a larger group.

The FBI's Jacksonville office has opened a federal civil rights investigation to pursue the incident as a hate crime. The shooter used a gun with swastikas on it, indicating a connection to white supremacist ideology. The shooting took place near Edward Waters University, a historically Black college, but it is unclear if the shooter had intended to target the school.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis condemned the shooter's actions and referred to him as a "scumbag." He expressed his outrage that the shooter targeted people based on their race and criticized him for taking his own life instead of facing the consequences of his actions.

Jacksonville has experienced racially motivated attacks in the past. The shooting occurred on the five-year anniversary of a shooting at a gaming tournament, and the gunman referenced that incident in his writings. The attack also happened one day before the anniversary of "Ax Handle Saturday," an event where members of the Ku Klux Klan attacked Black protesters.

Although this incident resulted in three deaths, it is not considered a mass shooting according to Gun Violence Archive, as their criteria require a higher number of fatalities. However, 2023 has seen a high number of mass shootings in the U.S., making it potentially the deadliest year since the organization began tracking these incidents.

The shooting in Jacksonville is a tragic reminder of the ongoing issue of hate crimes and racially motivated violence in the United States. Authorities are working to investigate the incident and bring justice to the victims and their families.


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