Cousins! Tragedy has striked within a predominately Black neighborhood on Saturday, as a white male wearing a mask entered a local Dollar General store and fatally shot three people.
According to ABC News, the shooting took place around 2 p.m. at a Dollar General located approximately three-quarters of a mile from the historically Black college of Edward Waters University.
Authorities state that the firearm used in the Jacksonville, Florida attacks was painted with a swastika and that the shooter had a string of racial written essays online.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference, that the attack that claimed the lives of two men and one woman were, “racially motivated.”
He adds, “He hated Black people,” following a review of Ryan Christopher Palmeter’s writings, that were sent by his parents to federal law enforcement officials and a media outlet shortly before the attack; reports ABC News.
Waters confirmed that the 21 year old gunman acted alone and “there is absolutely no evidence the shooter is part of any larger group.”
Officials state that the Ryan used a Glock handgun along with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He is said to have had on a bullet-resistant vest at the time of the shooting.
The victims within the tragic racial driven ordeal have been identified as 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr; 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre Jr.; and 29-year-old Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion. According to NBC News, Dollar General confirmed that Anolt was an employee at the store.
“She wasn’t meant to go that fast. She wasn’t even supposed to be there,” said Angela’s daughter Ashley Carr, 36. “She was shot in her car. She never even had a chance.”
Reports read that Angela had been working as an Uber driver on Saturday when the incident occurred. Ryan opened fire killing her as she dropped off a passenger.
“She was a great woman, and she’s been taken,” Carr said. “I hope her spirit is at rest.”
Anolt’s father spoke with NBC News as he remembered his son as being a hardworking and driven young man.
“He hadn’t even lived his life yet,” Anolt Laguerre Sr. said, “and for somebody to take his life away, it’s outrageous … because you don’t like the color of his skin.”
He says his son had just begun working at Dollar General and was a recent High school graduate.
“The only thing … he likes in life is to work,” Laguerre Sr. said. “He doesn’t ask nobody for nothing.”
The former girlfriend of Jerrald and mother to his daughter, Tyesha Jones described him as a wonderful human.
“He was my best friend,” she said to NBC News at a vigil on Sunday. “He was my daughter’s best friend. He got her every weekend. He was the best daddy ever.”
Ryan is said to have ultimately died by apparent suicide after turning his firearm on himself when approached by police.
Waters says that the shooter had previously been involved in a 2016 domestic violence incident and was once involuntarily committed to a mental hospital for examination. Family memebers and classmates described him as being awkward.