Attorney for family of Dollar General shooting victim says community has failed to follow through on promises

It’s been three months since three people were killed in a racially-motivated shooting at a Grand Park Dollar General store.

Now, an attorney representing family members of one of the victims said the community has failed to follow through on promises of support, transparency and change.

Attorney John Phillips is representing the estate of Angela Carr. He said leaders have let down the victims’ families and sent a scathing 18-page letter to several local leaders on Wednesday, including some at Jacksonville City Hall. He called it a warning shot ahead of a lawsuit he plans to file.

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Memorials to the three people killed at the Dollar General in August sit outside the now-shuttered store honoring Jerrald Gallion, Carr, and AJ Laguerre Jr.

Phillips said he has been in touch with two of her three children and said they are struggling without their loved one and hired him to help get justice.

“We need to see answers…we need to see accountability and transparency,” Phillips said.

He sent the long letter to 11 people, including representatives from local government and Dollar General.

“[The shooting] was a special breed of hate. The entire world turned its attention to Jacksonville. Vigils were held. Promises made. Funds were raised. Families were propped up for press conferences and political opportunity. It’s been over three months. Where is the help?” the letter states.

“Clearly nothing’s happened. There’s been no lawsuit filed. There’s, there’s, you know, nobody’s talking about it anymore,” Phillips told News4JAX.

In the letter, Phillips asked the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for access to investigative files, including the shooter’s “manifestos.” A JSO spokesperson told News4JAX those records will be released when the criminal investigation is complete.

Phillips also asked for information about a donation fund for the victims’ families set up through the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue union. The man who was union president when the fundraiser was set up told News4JAX that the funds have been distributed to the victims’ families, as promised.

“I am not in any way accusing the city, the firemen or the firemen union of keeping money that didn’t belong to them. What I am saying is they weren’t transparent about what came in and what went out, and how,” Phillips said.

Phillips wants to see the financial records. He is also trying to follow the seven figures Dollar General pledged to donate in the wake of the shooting, including $1 million for local non-profits and community organizations.

Phillips said his clients want to see action in the wake of the tragedy, not just talk.

“We’re going to try and hold everybody accountable and do honor by their mother,” he said.

News4JAX reached out to Dollar General about their donations and when the store is expected to re-open after the remodel is complete, but it did not immediately respond. Phillips said he intends to file suit against Dollar General, the family of the shooter and possibly others.

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