A RACIST white gunman stormed a Florida Dollar General targeting black customers before killing three and then turning the gun on himself, police say.
The masked attacker stormed the discount store in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday evening with a swastika-adorned AR-15 rifle and a Glock handgun
Sheriff T.K. Waters said in a news conference that two men and one woman were killed by the shooter who then turned the gun on himself.
Waters explained that the shooter who was in his 20s had posted racist "manifestos" on his social media which contained a "disgusting ideology of hate."
"This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people," the Sheriff said.
"He targeted a certain group of people and that's Black people. That's what he said he wanted to kill. And that's very clear."
The shooter from Clay County who was wearing a bullet-proof vest has not been identified, but officials believe that he acted alone.
Officials shared images of the guns used in the shooting – one of which had Nazi symbols.
"It's a shooting that should not have happened under any circumstances," Waters said, adding that it is "a dark day in Jacksonville's history."
According to Waters, the gunman left evidence in his hate writings showing investigators that the attack was planned on the fifth anniversary of another shooting in Jacksonville which killed two people and the gunman.
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"The hate that motivated the shooter's killing spree adds an additional layer of heartbreak," the Sheriff added.
The Dollar General store is located just three-quarters of a mile away from Edward Waters University.
It is a historically Black university and it has been revealed that the gunman had been turned away from campus shortly before the shooting.
The university released a statement saying that a security officer near the library asked the shooter to identify himself, and when he refused, he was turned away.
The gunman then went back to his car and according to Waters was seen putting on his vest and mask before leaving.
The sheriff added that it is not known if the school was the gunman's original target for the attack.
"I can't tell you what his mindset was while he was there, but he did go there," Waters said.
Students on campus remained on lockdown in their dorms for a number of hours following the shooting.
The house in Clay County which the shooter lived in with his parents was being searched late on Saturday evening.
Just before the attack, the gunman sent his father a text message asking him to check his computer where the family then found his racist writings and subsequently called 911.
Special Agent Sherri Onks who oversees the Jacksonville FBI office said officials have launched a civil rights investigation and will pursue the shooting as a hate crime.
Onks said: "Hate crimes are always and will always remain a top priority for the FBI because they are not only an attack on a victim, they're also meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community."
Florida's Governor and 2024 Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has released a video statement acknowledging the shooting.
"The shooting, based on the manifesto that they've discovered from the scumbag that did this, was racially motivated," DeSantis said.
"He was targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable.
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"He took the coward's way out," DeSantis said of the alleged shooter.
"We condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms."
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