Florida, racially motivated shooting: 3 dead

Swastikas were drawn on one of the weapons used by the killer

Three people were killed yesterday in a racially motivated attack after a gunman targeted black people at a store in Jacksonville, Florida. CNN reports. “This shooting was racially motivated and the killer hated black people,” Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters said at a news conference. Waters added that the killer, whom he described as a white man in his 20s, killed himself after the attack. All three victims, two men and one woman, were black. Waters said the killer lived in Clay County, Florida, south of Jacksonville, with his parents. Jacksonville is located in northeast Florida, approximately 35 miles south of the Georgia border.

Waters also said the killer had texted his father telling him to “check his computer”. The father found documents described by Waters as manifestos and called the authorities. However, the killer had already begun the attack on the Jacksonville store. The shooting began shortly after 1pm local time. Earlier the man had been seen on the campus of nearby Edward Waters University, from where he had been removed after refusing to identify himself.

“The killer returned to his car and left the campus without incident. The encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by Edward Waters University security,” according to a university news release. Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said the gunman barricaded himself inside the store after the attack. It is unclear whether the victims were killed inside or outside the shop. According to investigators, the man acted alone. Swastikas were painted on one of his weapons in white paint. “We have opened a federal civil rights investigation and will pursue this incident as a hate crime,” said Sherri Onks, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville office.