Dollar General store expected to reopen Friday nearly 5 months after racist attack

The Jacksonville Dollar General store where three people were killed in a racially motivated shooting will reopen Friday morning, representatives from the store confirmed to News4JAX.

The store has had a “coming soon” sign on the wall and out front for several weeks now. A memorial also stands for the victims killed in a shooting at this store.

AJ Laguerre Jr., 19, Angela Carr, 52, and Jerrald Gallion, 29, were shot and killed in the racially motivated attack in August.

The gunman took his own life.

News4JAX went into the neighborhood Thursday and spoke with residents who live nearby. Some of them said they are looking forward to the store’s reopening, others said it was not the right move.

Mr. Barry said he visited the store that same day, just 20 minutes before the shooting happened.

“And soon as I got back in the house from playing my lottery numbers, I heard some shooting. I said that’s close by, sounds like it’s right in my backyard,” Mr. Barry said.

While he knows he could’ve been one of the victims, Mr. Barry said he doesn’t feel uncomfortable knowing that the store will remain in his neighborhood.

“That can happen anywhere,” Mr. Barry said.

In fact, he said would love it if the store reopened because it’s the closest one to him.

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However, Mr. Barry’s neighbor a few doors down feels differently.

She said she would never go back to the store.

“Because every time I drive by there, I think about what happened and it’s tragic. I mean, it’s too close to home,” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the shooter left two other places when he saw security guards before ending up at Dollar General.

Attorneys for the victims said they would want to see the store add security guards and ensure no one else in the community will fall victim to another crime.

Adam Finkel, lawyer with The Haggard Law Firm, said the store should have been shut down completely.

“It’s insulting. It minimizes the value of their lives. This is about money, what they’re doing. They’re trying to market again to say, ‘Come back into our stores and buy our items. So we can make up for the profit loss from having closed the store,’ having closed the store because the walls were covered in blood,” Finkel said.

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The victims’ families are still struggling to heal from the tragedy.

“Their grieving becomes worse and worse every day,” Finkel said.

Meanwhile, the community also continues to grieve.

“I feel so bad about that,” Mr. Barry said.

The anonymous neighbor said she doesn’t think security guards could make a big difference in terms of the store’s safety.

“Security guards are limited. If we had JSO, yes. But I still wouldn’t go in there though,” she said.

A whole community living with the reminder, and trying to move forward.

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