Police Confirm Deadly Gunman Was Racially Motivated

(HorizonPost.com) – Law enforcement is calling last weekend’s shooting at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida that killed three blacks “racially motivated,” Reuters reported.

In a press conference over the weekend, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the gunman “hated black people.”

Sheriff Waters said the gunman, who committed suicide after the shooting, had written “several manifestos” that detailed his hatred of blacks.

The gunman wore a tactical vest and was armed with a Glock handgun and an AR-style rifle, both of which were marked with a swastika, according to NBC News

According to the sheriff, the gunman was spotted at Edward Waters University, a historically black college in the area, where he donned the tactical vest and a mask before going to the Dollar General.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Sherri Onks told reporters that a civil rights investigation into the shooting has been launched and the case is being pursued as a hate crime.

Sheriff Waters described the gunman as a “maniac” who “targeted a certain group of people” to kill.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis condemned the shooting, calling the racially-motivated attack “totally unacceptable.” He blasted the shooter for taking “the coward’s way out” rather than facing the consequences of his crime.

Saturday’s gunman was later identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter of Clay County, Florida, who, according to NBC News, had previous run-ins with law enforcement.

In 2016, he was involved in a domestic disturbance call, but no arrests were made. The following year, he was placed on a 72-hour mental health hold under the Baker Act, which allows for temporary detention for mental evaluation if a person is believed to be mentally ill but has refused to undergo a voluntary examination.

Last weekend’s shooting fell on the fifth anniversary of another Jacksonville shooting at a video gaming event.

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