Sunday, August 27, 2023
Authorities said Saturday that as many as three black people were fatally shot including a woman after an armed suspect entered a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida and went on to kill people with an AR-style rifle before shooting himself.
Sheriff TK Waters said in a news conference Saturday: "The shooter, a white male in his early 20s, was outfitted with a tactical vest and armed with an AR-style rifle and a handgun when he started firing inside a Dollar General discount store."
"He targeted a certain group of people and that's Black people. That's what he said he wanted to kill. And that's very clear," the sheriff said.
"There were two male victims and one female victim," according to the sheriff.
"Manifestos discovered by the gunman's family shortly before the attack detail the shooter's disgusting ideology of hate," he told reporters.
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan earlier told local broadcaster WJXT: "There are a number of fatalities inside the store."
Earlier, Officials were not able to provide an exact number of people killed in the Jacksonville store shooting.
The city's fire department spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer told CNN the department was on standby to treat victims.
A number of police officers are in the area near Edward Waters University, a small historically Black university.
Deegan told the media: "This is unacceptable. One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take."
Mass shootings have become disturbingly common across the US, with easy access to firearms in most states and more guns in the country than citizens.
Earlier in the day at least seven people were transported to hospital after a mass shooting at a Caribbean festival in the northeast city of Boston, according to the police.
The night before, two women were shot at a baseball game in Chicago.
That same night a 16-year-old was fatally shot and four others were wounded after an argument erupted at a high school football game in Oklahoma, local police stated.
The Jacksonville shooting comes after a self-declared white supremacist killed 10 Black people in a live-streamed shooting rampage at a supermarket in the US state of New York in May 2022.
Payton Gendron planned the attack for months, targeting Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo because of the large African-American population in the surrounding neighbourhood.
He pleaded guilty to the killings in November.
Saturday's Jacksonville mass shooting is five years to the day after a similar incident in the city when a gunman at a video game tournament killed two and wounded several others before killing himself.