JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fired back at a man who blamed him for a “racially motivated” mass shooting in Jacksonville at a news conference on Thursday.
DeSantis was holding a news conference in Jacksonville to take aim at the COVID-19 vaccine and masks, and during the question and answer section, a Black man said something to DeSantis not clearly picked up on the microphones.
“I did not allow anything,” DeSantis responded. “I’m not gonna let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I’m not gonna take that. If you want to have a civil conversation that’s one thing.”
“That guy was Baker Acted. He should have been ruled ineligible, but they didn’t involuntarily commit him,” DeSantis said, referring to a Florida law that allows for a person to be involuntarily taken for evaluation.
The man continued to exchange words with DeSantis.
“You don’t get to come here and blame me for some madman, that is not appropriate and I’m not going to accept it,” DeSantis said.
“You have allowed people to hunt people like me,” the man said.
“That is nonsense. That is such nonsense,” DeSantis said to a standing ovation.
The confrontation was over a late August shooting at a Dollar General in a predominately African American neighborhood that left three people dead. The sheriff said the shooting was “racially motivated” and that the suspect “hated Black people.” The shooter took his own life.