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Three people killed in ‘racially motivated’ shooting in Florida

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Three people have been killed in a “racially motivated” shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.

Two men and one woman were shot dead in a Dollar General store in the city by a man in his early 20s in what the mayor has called a “hate filled crime”.

Jacksonville’s sheriff said that the suspect, an unidentified white man in is 20s, “targeted black people” in the shooting, which took place near a historically black university, before killing himself.

“Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people,” Sheriff T K Waters said at a news conference.

Waters said the shooter, who was in his 20s, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle during his kill spree which occurred shortly before 2pm local time.

Residents talk with Jacksonville police officers near the scene of a mass shooting at a Dollar General store, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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Residents talk with Jacksonville police officers near the scene. Pic: AP

The shooter reportedly left several manifestos littered with racial epithets detailing his hatred of black people.

Earlier, Mayor Donna Deegan told WJXT “there are a number of fatalities” inside the store but did not give a precise number.

Numerous police officers were in the area near Edward Waters University, a small historically black university.

“This is unacceptable,” Ms Deegan told the station. “One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take.”

Jacksonville City Council member Ju’Coby Pittman told the station the shooter is dead. She did not give details.

“My heart is heavy. I am tired of all of the shootings,” she said.

Residents gather for a prayer near the scene of a mass shooting at a Dollar General store, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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Pic: AP

Edward Waters University students were being kept in their dorms, the school said in a statement.

No students or faculty are believed involved, the school said.

The shooting happened five years to the day when a gunman opened fire during a video game tournament in Jacksonville, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.

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