A white man fatally shot three people inside a Jacksonville, Fla., Dollar General store on Saturday in a predominately Black neighbourhood in an attack that the local sheriff called “racially motivated.” The shooter then killed himself.

“He hated black people,” Sheriff T.K. Waters told a news conference. “There is absolutely no evidence the shooter is part of any larger group.”

Waters said the shooter, who was in his 20s, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He left behind writing that led investigators to believe that he committed the shooting because it was the fifth anniversary of when another gunman opened fire during a video game tournament in Jacksonville, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.

The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. ET at a Dollar General near Edward Waters University, a small historically Black university. 

Edward Waters University students were being kept in their dorms, the school said in a statement. No students or faculty are believed involved, the school said. 

People hold hands in a prayer circle.
Residents gather for a prayer near the scene of a shooting in Jacksonville on Saturday, after a gunman killed three people at a neighbourhood store before killing himself. (John Raoux/The Associated Press)

Penny Jones told the The Associated Press that she worked at the store until a few months ago. She lives a few blocks away in the predominantly Black neighbourhood. 

“I’m just waiting to hear about my co-workers that I used to work with,” Jones said. “I don’t know if it’s safe to move about the neighbourhood.”

Jones added that she was “feeling awkward, scared.”

“I don’t want to leave my house. I’m thinking, do I want to go back to the store? Is this going to start happening more frequently? I don’t know what the cause of it is. I’m confused. It’s a lot of different feelings going on right now,” she said Saturday afternoon.



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