TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis condemned a racially-motivated shooting that killed three Black people in Jacksonville Saturday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Ryan Palmeter, 21, of Clay County killed three people at a Dollar General in a predominantly Black neighborhood in a “racially motivated” attack on the same day. He then killed himself after the shooting.
“He hated Black people,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff’s office said before the attack, Palmeter sent his father a text to look at his computer at 1:18 p.m., which contained three manifestos. His family called the Clay County Sheriff’s Office 35 minutes later, but by that point, the shooting had already begun.
After the shooting, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a video statement calling the shooter a “scumbag” and condemning racial violence.
“This was racially motivated,” DeSantis said. “He was targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable. This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions. And so he took the coward’s way out.”
According to NBC affiliate WLTV, Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan, the shooter had a rifle with a Nazi swastika on it and made racist statements before the shooting.
“I’m heartbroken,” Deegan said. “This is a community that has suffered again and again. We must do everything to dissuade this type of hate.”
WTLV reported that the FBI has begun a civil rights investigation into the shooting, which has been classified as a hate crime.