Florida Shooting: 21-Year-Old Commits Atrocity Against African Americans with Legally Purchased Weapons

2023-08-27 20:21:03

(Jacksonville) The 21-year-old man who shot three African Americans in Florida with legally purchased weapons had previously been committed once morest his will for a mental health screening, the local sheriff said Sunday.

Posted at 4:21 p.m.

Russ Bynum et Aaron Morrison

Associated Press

Armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock pistol, Ryan Palmeter shot one of his victims as she sat in her car outside a store in Jacksonville. He shot another person just following entering the store and shot a third within a minute, Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters said in a news conference.

Sheriff Waters identified those shot in Saturday’s attack as Angela Michelle Carr, 52, AJ Laguerre, 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29.

Palmeter had bought his guns legally for the past few months, even though he had undergone a mental health examination once morest his will in 2017.


Photo of Ryan Christopher Palmeter is shown at a press conference following being identified by Sheriff Waters.

The weapons had been purchased in April and June, with dealers adhering to all laws and procedures, including background checks.

Given that Palmeter was released following his mental health screening, this would not have been noticed during his background check, the sheriff said.

Palmer committed suicide following killing all three victims. He lived with his parents in neighboring Clay County and had texted his father during the killings asking him to come to his room, Mr Waters said. The father then found a suicide note, a will and writings that the police described as racist.

Eleven minutes of horror

On Saturday, shortly before 1 p.m., Palmeter parked at Edward Waters University, a historically black university located less than a mile from the Dollar General store.

While posting a TikTok video of himself donning a bulletproof vest and gloves, a college security guard spotted Palmeter and parked near him.

Palmeter left and the security guard alerted a Jacksonville sheriff’s officer who was regarding to send an alert to his team when gunfire started in the store.

Palmeter first pulled up in front of Ms Carr’s vehicle and fired 11 shots through its windscreen.

The shooter then entered the store and shot Mr. Laguerre, an employee, as many people fled through the back door of the store. Palmer then shot Gallion, a customer who had just walked in with his girlfriend.

About a minute later, Palmeter walked into the store’s office and texted his father, telling him to use a screwdriver to get into his room.

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Eleven minutes following the gunfire started and as police entered the store, Palmeter killed himself.


“Our community is struggling to understand why this atrocity happened,” Sheriff Waters said. I urge us not to seek meaning from a senseless act of violence. »

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department is “investigating this attack as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.”


Members of St. Paul AME Church pray with four Edward Waters University students, center, who attended a prayer service for the victims.

“No one in this country should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence and no family should have to mourn the loss of a loved one to bigotry and hate,” he said. he declares.

Elected officials said racist attacks like the one on Saturday have been encouraged by political rhetoric targeting “awareness” and by the policies of the Republican-led state government led by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, including one aimed at teaching black history in Florida.

Mr DeSantis, who returned to Florida on Sunday from Iowa, where he was campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, said Floridians “condemn the horrific racially motivated killings perpetrated by a deranged bastard”.

The Jacksonville shooting came a day before the 63rd anniversary of the infamous ‘Axe Saturday’, when 200 Ku Klux Klan members attacked black protesters who were taking part in a peaceful sit-in once morest Jim Crow laws banning them from access to white-owned shops and restaurants.

The police had stood by until a black street gang arrived to fight the Klansmen, armed with bats and ax handles. Only the blacks had been arrested.

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