Three Black people were killed in a hate-motivated shooting at a Dollar General retailer in Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon, Jacksonville County Sheriff T.K. Waters said.
“This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people,” the sheriff, who is Black, said at a news conference. “He wanted to kill n——.”
The suspected shooter sent a manifesto to law enforcement, media, and his parents, Waters said. It detailed that racial hatred, he said.
The man used what the sheriff described as an “AR-style” rifle, or a long gun in the style of the AR-15, and a handgun.
The incident occurred at a store on Kings Road and Canal Street. Additional details were not immediately available.
Melissa Ross, a spokesperson for Mayor Donna Deegan’s office, said there are “multiple fatalities” and said more information would be given at an upcoming news conference.
The sheriff’s office subsequently said the suspected shooter was among the dead.
Dollar General released a statement Saturday evening on the violence.
“We are heartbroken by the senseless act of violence that occurred at our Kings Road store in Jacksonville, Florida today,” the retailer said. “At this time, supporting our Jacksonville employees and the DG family impacted by this tragedy is a top priority as we work closely with law enforcement.”
Nearby Edward Waters University issued a “stay in place” order for the campus Saturday, and said authorities have checked all campus facilities.
The school said there was no preliminary indication the shooting involved students, faculty or staff.
NBC affiliate First Coast News of Jacksonville said there is a heavy law enforcement presence, including SWAT and a helicopter, in the area.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
POST AUTHOR: Minyvonne Burke and Cristian Santana and Dennis Romero and Elizabeth Maline