A white supremacist killed three people on Saturday in the city of Jacksonville, in the north of the state of Florida, before committing suicide, as confirmed by local authorities and later Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The killer used a long rifle and a pistol on which he had painted a swastika, according to an image shown at a news conference by Sheriff T.K. Walters, who also specified that he had left "a manifesto" with hate messages at his house and that the murders had "racial motives."
The governor of Florida issued a statement condemning the events and implied that the dead were black, explaining that the murderer "chose the victims based on their race, something totally unacceptable" before "choosing the way out of the cowards and shoot himself rather than face the consequences of his act.
"It's a dark day in the history of Jacksonville. There is no place for hate in this community," said the sheriff, revealing the first details and showing the weapons used by the murderer.
The mayor, Donna Deagan, present at the appearance, also confirmed the reasons: "As the sheriff said, it is a hate crime. We have to do everything possible to deter this type of hate."
It is unknown who the victims are, who were apparently chosen at random by the man inside a Dollar General store chain, although according to some local media he also fired at cars that were passing by in the vicinity.
The perpetrator of the shooting, according to witnesses, wore a paramilitary aesthetic, with a camouflage uniform, gloves and a ski mask.
According to multiple sources cited by local news4jax, around 12:45 local time, a man resembling the killer's characteristics was first seen at Edward Waters University (EWU).
The suspect hid behind the university library, and although campus security tried to catch him, the man was able to flee from there.
His steps apparently led to a Dollar General store, where Fox 30 showed a special forces SWAT team nearby, in the Kings Road area near Canal Street, as they engaged in a gunfight with the armed suspect inside the store.
"This is unacceptable. One shooting is too many, but these mass shootings are really hard to bear," the mayor said.
This shooting occurred on the same day 5 years ago when a shooter killed two people and wounded 11 others before turning the gun on himself at a gaming tournament at the old Jacksonville Landing, News4jax reported.