Tragic Shooting Claims Three Lives in Racially Motivated Attack at Florida Store**
In a horrifying incident that unfolded at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, a white man, identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, carried out a racially motivated attack that resulted in the deaths of three Black individuals. The tragic event occurred in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of New Town.
Wearing a mask and armed with a gun painted with a swastika, Palmeter entered the store around 1 p.m. and opened fire, targeting two men and a woman. Authorities have confirmed that the attack was driven by racial hatred, as evidenced by racist writings left behind by the assailant. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters condemned the act as a “dark day in Jacksonville’s history” and emphasized that hate has no place in the community.
Palmeter’s rampage ended with his own suicide at the scene. Thankfully, despite others being in the vicinity of the attack, no additional injuries were reported. The victims of the tragedy were identified as 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr, 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre Jr., and 29-year-old Jarrald De’Shawn Gallion.
The incident sparked widespread grief and anger, prompting hundreds of people to gather at prayer vigils and churches to mourn the loss and condemn the racially motivated violence. Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan and other community leaders expressed their sorrow and solidarity with the victims’ families.
The shooting tragically occurred on the eve of the 63rd anniversary of the notorious “Ax Handle Saturday” incident, a reminder of the deep-seated history of racial tensions in the city. Local leaders, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, faced criticism and calls for action from the community.
Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, are involved in the ongoing investigation to bring justice to the victims and their families. The incident has once again highlighted the urgent need to address hate-fueled violence and racial bigotry in the United States.