racist gunman arrying at least one weapon bearing a swastika fatally shot three Black people inside a Florida store Saturday in an attack with a clear motive of racial hatred, officials said.
The shooting in a Dollar General store in a predominately African-American neighborhood left two men and one woman dead and was “racially motivated,” Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters said.
The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. within a mile of Edward Waters University, a small, historically Black university.
In addition to carrying a firearm with a painted symbol of the genocidal Nazi regime of Germany of the 1930s and 1940s, the shooter issued racist statements before the shooting. He killed himself at the scene.
The shooter has not yet been named but the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting, which it is treating as a hate crime.
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan told local TV channel WJXT: “One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said: “He [the gunman] was targeting people based on their race, that is totally unacceptable,” said Mr DeSantis, who is competing to be the Republican party’s presidential candidate.
“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 White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting.