- A white man shot and killed three black people at a store in Jacksonville, Florida.
- The police spoke on Saturday evening (local time) of a racially motivated act.
- The alleged shooter is white, in his early 20s and has left several manifestos – “he hated black people,” said the Jacksonville sheriff.
According to the information, he killed two men and a woman and then took his own life. Sheriff TK Waters said the perpetrator wore a bulletproof vest and mask and was armed with an assault rifle and pistol.
You are still at the very beginning of the investigation, many questions are still open. The shooter apparently lived with his parents. Shortly before the crime, the young man sent his father a message and asked him to check his computer. The parents called the police shortly thereafter – but at the time the shooter was already at the scene and fired shots.
“Disgusting ideology of hatred”
He wrote several manifestos: for his parents, for the media and for investigators. In it he had recorded a “disgusting ideology of hate,” said Waters. “He was targeting a certain group of people, and they were black people,” said the sheriff, who is black himself. “This was, frankly, a maniac who decided to kill others.”
There is no evidence that the man belonged to any group. He acted alone. “This is a dark day in Jacksonville history,” Waters said. The police initially did not comment on the exact identity of the perpetrator and the victims.
Fifth anniversary of a shooting in Jacksonville
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said the gunman had a swastika on one of his guns. “This was a hateful crime,” she lamented. “We must do everything we can to stop this kind of hate.”
Jacksonville has repeatedly suffered from gun attacks. These should not simply continue. “We’ve seen too much of it.” Five years ago to the day, there was a gun attack at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, killing two and injuring several. In one of the manifestos, the shooter probably referred to this and possibly chose the day for his attack accordingly.
Strong condemnation by Governor DeSantis
Jacksonville is located in northeast Florida. The city in the southern US state has almost a million inhabitants. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis condemned the act with sharp words. The Republican referred to the perpetrator as a “scumbag”. The man targeted people because of their skin color. “That is completely unacceptable.”
Repeatedly deadly hate crimes in the United States
Serious gun attacks occur every day in the United States, along with deadly hate crimes. One act in May 2022 in Buffalo, New York state, particularly stood out: a racially motivated shooter killed ten people there in and in front of a supermarket with an assault rifle. The majority of the victims were black. The perpetrator was later sentenced to life imprisonment.
Racism and discrimination against African Americans and other groups remains a pressing issue in the United States. Several thousand people gathered in the US capital on Saturday to mark the 60th anniversary of the “March on Washington”. On August 28, 1963, the black civil rights activist Martin Luther King demanded equal rights for blacks and whites with the legendary words “I have a dream”.
King, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and died in an assassination attempt in 1968, had brought around 250,000 supporters to Washington at the time. Civil rights activists, activists and descendants of Martin Luther King complained at the event on Saturday that there is still a long way to go before equal rights for blacks and whites in the country. Some expressed concern about the development of the country.
The man “rather killed himself than take responsibility for his actions”. He chose “the path of a coward”. The White House said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the Jacksonville attack and other gun attacks in the country in the past 24 hours.