A racially-motivated shooting at a Dollar General store on Kings Road has left three people dead, prompting a heavy police and SWAT response in Northwest Jacksonville. The FBI has classified the incident as a hate crime.
According to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, the shooter, armed with an AR-15 rifle adorned with swastikas and a Glock pistol, was observed on the campus of Edward Waters University just moments before the tragic event unfolded. The shooter’s identity remains undisclosed, but it’s known that he resides in Clay County with his parents. Sheriff Waters revealed that the individual had a history of involvement in a 2016 domestic incident without any arrests and was also placed under the Baker Act in 2017.
Tragically, the shooting claimed the lives of two Black men and a Black woman. The shooter ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities have confirmed that no other individuals were injured in the incident.
The sequence of events began when Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook alerted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that the shooter was en route from Clay County to Jacksonville. At around 1:18 p.m., the shooter’s parents notified the Clay County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a text from their child, instructing them to check their computer. This led to the discovery of a manifesto containing disturbing hate-filled ideologies at the family’s Oakleaf residence.
Sheriff Waters disclosed that the shooter had composed three separate manifestos, targeting the media, his parents, and federal agents with expressions of hateful beliefs. Prior to arriving at the Dollar General store, the shooter was reportedly spotted at Edward Waters University where he donned a mask and a ballistics vest. Although campus security attempted to apprehend him, the shooter managed to escape.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are collaborating on the investigation alongside local law enforcement.