Jacksonville racist attacker legally bought two guns this year, sheriff says

The white man who killed three black people in a racist attack on Saturday at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, legally purchased two firearms this year, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, at a press conference this Sunday.

The shooter, identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, bought a handgun in April and an AR-15 rifle in June, according to the sheriff. He lived with his parents in nearby Orange Park and had no criminal record, although he had been involuntarily detained under the Baker Act in 2017, according to the sheriff.

“In this situation, there was nothing illegal about him possessing the firearms,” he said.

At least 472 mass shootings reported nationwide in the United States so far in 2023
The press conference came a day after Palmeter fatally shot three black people at the Dollar General store in what authorities consider a hate crime against the black community. The Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.

Ryan Christopher Palmerer, 21, was identified as the shooter.
Ryan Christopher Palmerer, 21, was identified as the shooter.

According to authorities, the shooter used racist slurs, left a racist pamphlet and drew swastikas on his firearm. He was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a pistol, and was wearing a tactical vest and blue latex gloves, according to the sheriff.

The victims were identified as Angela Michelle Carr, 52; Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr, 19; and Jerrald Gallion, 29.

Three people dead after a “racially motivated” shooting at a Jacksonville, Florida, Dollar General, authorities say
Before the shooting, the shooter was not allowed onto the campus of a nearby historically black university, Edward Waters University (EWU). There, he refused to identify himself to campus security and was asked to leave, the university said in a news release.

“The individual returned to his car and left campus without incident. The encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by EWU security,” the school said.

The shooting came five years after a mass shooting in downtown Jacksonville at a Madden video game tournament. The attack also coincided with the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, the iconic civil rights rally that called on the government to better protect black rights.

The attack was one of several shootings across the US in two days, including one near a parade in Massachusetts and another at a high school football game in Oklahoma, underscoring the daily presence of gun violence. in American life.

There have been at least 472 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are injured or killed, without include the attacker. That’s almost two mass shootings for every day of the year so far. The nation passed the 400 mark in July, the earliest month such a high number has been recorded since 2013, the group said.

The sheriff offers a timeline of the attack
Sheriff Waters provided a timeline of Saturday’s attack.

The shooter left his Clay County home around 11:39 a.m. and headed for Jacksonville, in neighboring Duval County, Waters told CNN.

At 12:48 p.m., the suspect drove to Edward Waters University in a gray Honda and donned a bulletproof vest, and a TikTok video was taken showing him getting dressed, the sheriff said.

University police pulled into a parking lot on the same lot as the suspect, and the suspect left at 12:57 p.m., he said. University police followed him and tipped off a sheriff’s deputy that a suspicious person was on campus, according to the sheriff.

At 1:08 p.m., in the parking lot of Dollar General, the shooter fired at a black Kia, killing Carr, according to the sheriff. He then entered the store and fatally shot Laguerre.

Others fled through the back exit of the store, and the suspect exited through the same door before going back inside. The gunman fatally shot Gallion, who had just entered the store, and pursued and shot Gallion’s fleeing girlfriend, the sheriff said.

Law enforcement officers at the scene of the shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, this Saturday. (Photo: WJXT)
Law enforcement officers at the scene of the shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, this Saturday. (Photo: WJXT)

At 1:18 p.m., the gunman texted his father and told her to go to his bedroom, where the father found a test


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