‘Still haven’t gotten over the hurt’: Release of Dollar General shooter’s manifesto intensifies unhealed community wound

The hate-filled manifesto from the Dollar General shooter has ignited mixed emotions from a community that is still processing and healing from the tragedy.

The victims’ families’ attorneys told News4JAX this is a difficult time as the manifesto’s release has brought more frustration and hurt to them.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released the 27-page-long document left behind by the 21-year-old gunman who killed three Black people in a racially motivated attack at a Northwest Jacksonville Dollar General in August 2023.

AJ Laguerre, 19, Jerrald Gallion, 29, and Angela Carr, 52, were killed at a Dollar General store in the Grand Park area.

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The letter expresses hate for all races, except white, and his desire to eliminate all African Americans.

As he and his friend walked into the store where the tragedy took place almost five months ago, Marvin Williams said he felt uncomfortable since it made him think of what happened.

“I told her, keep an eye on the door just in case we have a copycat,” Williams said.

Their families learned that the manifesto had been released by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Attorneys for the families requested the manifesto for their lawsuits.

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John Phillips, attorney for Angela Carr’s estate and family, said he called Angela’s family Thursday night to let them know the manifesto was about to be published.

“Let them know that today was probably going to be a bad day. No victim wants the killer to be discussed,” Phillips said.

Phillips said the family is not surprised the shooter used racist language.

The manifesto in at least one way, suggests Jacksonville was not the only target of his hate crimes.

“So there is a section, the last few pages are a ‘questions and answer’ as if he’s interviewing himself and one of the questions he asks himself is ‘why not do it in Jacksonville?’ He did do it in Jacksonville and so, the question is when he wrote this where was he intending to go?” Phillips said.

Dissecting the manifesto for the lawsuits could take time, but the families continue to grieve.

“The Carr family, bless their hearts, is pretty resilient. They’ve gotten September, October, November, December, January — five months of losing their matriarch,” Phillips said.

Haggard Law Firm is representing the Laguerre and Gallion families in addition to one of Angela Carr’s children.

“This still happened very recently. Every single day is still very difficult for everybody that we represent moving along in their grieving process. If anything the manifesto just brings about that much more frustration with what was not in place that would’ve saved their loved one’s lives,” Adam Finkel, trial attorney with Haggard Law Firm, said.

The Dollar General reopened Friday, Jan. 12.

Some people don’t know that a shooting happened there, while others remember it vividly.

Now that the manifesto is released, there are more mixed emotions — especially trauma.

“In some ways it helps and in a lot of ways it hurts because we still haven’t gotten over the hurt,” Marvin Williams, who lives in the neighborhood, said.

A pain that may never go away.

Phillips said regarding the gunman’s level of mental illness, there are many people with mental illness, but they aren’t filled with hate. He believes it’s important to understand how people become this hateful to prevent another mass shooting.

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