A shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, has killed four people, including the shooter, in what authorities are calling a racially motivated crime.
According to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, the shooting occurred on Saturday afternoon at Kings Road and Canal Street in Jacksonville, Florida, when an unidentified male entered a Dollar General shortly after 1 p.m. armed with an AR-style rifle and a handgun. The shooter was also wearing a tactical vest.
According to the story, a SWAT squad was observed near a Dollar General in the region, working on a potential standoff involving an armed man who was besieged inside the business.
Waters stated that two male victims and one female victim were killed, and that they were all African-American. He claimed that after killing the three victims, the suspect committed suicide.
“Plainly put, the shooting was racially motivated, and he hated black people,” Waters added.
Waters stated that the gunman wrote “several manifestos,” one for his parents, another for the media, and a third for federal officials, with passages describing the suspect’s “disgusting ideology of hate.”
According to the sheriff, the suspect texted his father around 1:18 p.m., urging him to check his computer. At 1:53 p.m., his father contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, but the suspect had already began shooting in Jacksonville.
The unidentified suspect was believed to have lived in Clay County, Florida, and was involved in a domestic call in 2016 that resulted in no arrest, according to Waters, who added that the individual had a Baker Act in 2017.
According to a state government website, Florida’s Baker act provides persons with “emergency services and temporary detention for up to 72 hours for mental health examination pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 394.”
Swastikas were discovered on the firearms used in the shooting, according to Waters.