TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Multiple people are confirmed dead, including the suspect when a shooter opened fire Saturday afternoon on Jacksonville’s Westside at a Dollar General.
The shooter left Clay County at 11:39 a.m. where he resides, and headed to Jacksonville. At 1:18 p.m. he texted his dad, telling him to check his computer. At 1:53 p.m., his family began calling Clay County, but by then, he had already begun shooting.
He authored several manifestos to his family, the media, and federal agents, which detail his ideology of hate.
According to Sheriff Waters, the shooter “hated black people.”
The shooter put a mask and vest on and headed into a Dollar General to open fire.
He used a Glock and an AR-15-style rifle. A swastika was found on the side of the gun.
“He targeted a specific group of people. And that was black people,” the sheriff said. “That was very clear.”
At this time, the suspect is only being identified as a white male in his early 20s. Officials are not releasing his identity at this time.
“This was a hate-filled crime,” the Mayor said. “And we just shouldn’t have that kind of hate in Jacksonville.”
A Jacksonville FBI agent said they opened a federal civil rights investigation and are pursuing this as a hate crime.
Sheriff Waters said in the press conference that this was a maniac who just wanted to take lives.
Mayor Donna Deegan and State Rep. Angie Nixon were at the scene of the shooting. “It’s a heartbreaking this for our community,” Deegan said. “It’s awful and it has happened in this community way too many times.”
NBC affiliate WTLV initially reported a heavy police presence around 1:17 p.m. including 10 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office cars, the Fire and Rescue Department, a helicopter, and a SWAT team.
The investigation continues.