Activists rally demanding action on gun safety laws outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA 26 May 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/SHAWN THEW / POOL

White supremacist guns down 3 people in Florida before killing himself

(Update 1: adds details)

Miami, US, Aug 26 (EFE).- A white supremacist on Saturday shot down three people in the city of Jacksonville, northern Florida, before killing himself, according to local authorities and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

The killer was carrying a high-powered rifle and a Palmetto handgun carrying a Swastika, according to an image shared in a press conference by the sheriff TK Walters, who said that a “manifesto” with messages of hate was found in the accused’s house, and that the killings were carried out with “racial motives.”

Florida governor Ron DeSantis condemned the incident in a statement and revealed that all the victims were Black, and that the killer chose the victims based on race, something which he called “unacceptable.” He also called the killer “cowardly” for opting to kill himself instead of facing the consequences of his action.

“This is a dark day in Jacksonville’s history. There is no place for hate in this community,” the sheriff said after revealing the crime’s details and displaying the weapons used by the murderer.

The identity of the victims, who were apparently chosen at random based on race when the shooter barricaded himself in the Dollar General store on Kings Road.

Some witnesses said he also fired at cars travelling nearby.

News4jax, citing several sources, said the suspect was seen at Edward Waters University (EWU) wearing a bulletproof vest, gloves and a balaclava.

He hid behind the university’s library. The campus security tried to get hold of him, but the man fled towards Dollar General.

“This is unacceptable,” Mayor Deegan told a local broadcaster. “One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take.”

FOX 30 reported the presence of a SWAT team in the vicinity of the Dollar General store involved in a potential standoff with the armed suspect who had taken refuge within the premises.

The shooting occurred days after gunfire at a popular biker bar in southern California left at least four people dead, including an attacker, on Wednesday evening.

Saturday’s incident happened on the fifth anniversary of a mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing that killed two people before the gunman shot himself.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, which monitors mass shootings in the US, the shooting at the California biker bar is the 465th mass shooting of the year.

As of August 1, more than 25,000 people have died from gun violence in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The deceased include nearly 880 teens and 170 children. EFE