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Florida gunman’s manifesto was ‘diary of a madman’

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STORY: [T.K. Waters, Jacksonville Sheriff]

“The Office of the Medical Examiner has positively identified the shooter as Ryan Christopher Palmeter. The shooter was 21 years of age when he committed yesterday’s atrocities.”

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters on Sunday said Ryan Palmeter – the white gunman who fatally shot three Black people at a Dollar General store a day earlier – bought his guns legally and had no criminal history.

Police said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Waters and other authorities have described the shooting as racially motivated, saying the man had authored “several manifestos” for media, his parents – whom he lived with – and law enforcement detailing his hatred for Black people.

“The manifesto is, quite frankly, the diary of a mad man. He was, he was, I mean, he was just completely irrational. But with his rational thoughts he knew what he was doing. He was 100% lucid.”

Waters said that Palmeter was briefly held in 2017 during a mental health crisis.

Reuters could not immediately reach members of the gunman’s family for comment.

Waters told reporters the gunman killed 52-year-old Angela Carr, 19-year-old Anolt Laguerre and 29-year-old Jerrald Gallion.

Police say Palmeter wore a tactical vest and his face was covered by a mask and that he carried a handgun and an “AR-15 style” rifle, which had swastikas on it.

Authorities say he was spotted trying to enter a historically Black college, Edward Waters University, on Saturday before he headed to the store.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Sunday the state would work with the school to ensure it had adequate security.

“Florida, the state and its people condemned the horrific, racially motivated murders perpetrated by a deranged scumbag in Jacksonville at the Dollar General Store. Perpetrating violence of this kind is unacceptable, and targeting people due to their race has no place in the state of Florida.”

In a statement on Sunday, President Joe Biden noted the shooting occurred the same day the country marked the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, scene of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and that “We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin.”

The Justice Department said it’s investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an “act of racially motivated violent extremism.

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