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Shooter kills 3 Black people at Jacksonville dollar store, sheriff says killing was racially motivated

Ryan Christopher Palmeter, 21 of Orange Park, Fla., allegedly killed three people in a shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla., Dollar General on Saturday. Palmeter's victims were all Black and investigators say the shooting was racially motivated. Image courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/Facebook
Ryan Christopher Palmeter, 21 of Orange Park, Fla., allegedly killed three people in a shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla., Dollar General on Saturday. Palmeter's victims were all Black and investigators say the shooting was racially motivated. Image courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A shooting at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Fla., that killed three people Saturday is being investigated by the FBI as a potential hate crime.

Jacksonville County Sheriff T.K. Waters identified the shooter as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter of Orange Park, Fla., during a press conference on Sunday. The victims were also identified as 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr, 19-year-old Anolt Joseph "A.J." Laguerre Jr. and 29-year-old Jarrald De'Shaun Gallion.

All three victims were Black and the shooter had written manifestos to his parents, the media and federal officials detailing his desire to kill Black people.

The manifestos described the suspect's "disgusting ideology of hate," according to Waters.

The alleged shooter was on campus at Edward Waters University earlier in the day.

The rifle used by the shooter at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday was marked with a swastika. Photo courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/Facebook
The rifle used by the shooter at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday was marked with a swastika. Photo courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Campus security asked him to leave after he refused to identify himself, according to the school -- a historically Black university, or HBCU.

A short time later the Palmeter allegedly donned a tactical vest, gloves and a mask while still on campus, before opening fire at the nearby Dollar General. He first opened fire on a vehicle outside of the store, killing Carr. He then entered the store and killed Laguerre and Gallion. He then chased a female around the store but did not shoot her.

At some point within 10 minutes of the first shots, Palmeter texted his father and told him to use a screwdriver to get into his room. There he found Palmeter's last will and testament, according to Waters.

He was armed with a Glock and an AR15-style rifle, according to the sheriff. One of the firearms was marked with a swastika. The sheriff's office released photos of the firearms on Facebook.

"Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated. He hated Black people," Waters said. "This is a dark day in Jacksonville's history. Any loss of life is tragic, but the hate that motivated the shooter's killing spree adds an additional layer of heartbreak."

Law enforcement located Palmeter and he killed himself.

Waters added that there is no indication the alleged shooter was part of any group and the shooting is not believed to be related to other incidents across the country.

The alleged shooter lived with his parents. Waters was unsure who the firearms were stored but said they did not belong to the shooter's parents and they did not want them in their home.

Earlier in the afternoon, the shooter contacted his parents and told them to check their computer, where they found the manifesto. They contacted the Clay County police, who then contacted law enforcement in Jacksonville. By that time, the shooting had begun.

"This is a community that has suffered again and again. So many times this is where we end up," Mayor Donna Deegan said. "It's too often the same folks. This type of hate, you see the swastikas on the gun, we must do everything we can to dissuade this type of hate."