Police on Sunday identified the shooter who killed three people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, over the weekend. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference that the suspect, 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, entered the store near Edward Waters University around 1 p.m. carrying an “AR-style” rifle, a handgun that had swastikas on it and was wearing a tactical vest. The suspected gunman alleged to have fatally shot three Black people and terrified others in a “racially motivated” rampage. Palmeter died by apparent suicide by one of the weapons, which he purchased legally.
Sheriff Waters played a brief clip from the security footage showing Palmeter shooting at a black Kia 11 times outside the store, killing his first victim seated inside the vehicle, identified as Angela Michelle Carr, 52, before storming through the front sliding glass doors and gunning down victims at random. The other victims killed in the shooting were identified as 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr. and 29-year-old Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion. Waters said that for some unexplained reason the suspect allowed other patrons, both white and Black, to leave the store.
Waters said that after killing his last victim, Palmeter texted his father instructing him to use a screwdriver to get into his bedroom, where he discovered his son’s last will and testament and a suicide note on his laptop. Waters revealed that Palmeter authored several documents including one to his parents, one to the media and one to federal agents, saying: “Portions of these manifestos detailed the shooter’s disgusting ideology of hate. Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated and he hated Black people.” Waters described the documents as “the diary of a madman,” full of offensive and hateful language, including racial slurs, and that they were “completely irrational.” Waters said during Sunday’s news conference: “Our community is grappling with why this atrocity occurred. I urge us all not to look for sense in a senseless act of violence. There’s no reason or explanation that will ever account for the shooter’s decisions and actions. His sickening ideology is not representative of the values of this Jacksonville community that we all love so much.”
Palmeter lived with his parents in Orange Park, about 20 miles southwest of Jacksonville, and had no criminal arrest history. He legally purchased two guns this year, buying a Glock 20 10 mm semiautomatic handgun from the Orange Park Gun & Pawn shop on May 6 and an AR-15-type semiautomatic rifle from the Wild West Guns and Shop in Jacksonville on June 22.
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