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Sheriff spits cold facts about guns blamed for Jacksonville shooting

Sheriff spits cold facts about guns blamed for Jacksonville shooting

The individual responsible for a “racially motivated” attack at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida has been identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter.

Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters announced that Palmeter killed two men and a woman in a predominantly African-American community Saturday afternoon before taking his own life at the scene.

According to Waters, Palmeter “lived with his parents in Orange Park in Clay County, Florida” and had no known “criminal or arrest history.”

During the attack, Palmeter was equipped with a tactical vest, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock handgun.

Sheriff Waters made it clear that blaming guns for the horrific crime was simplistic and wrong.

“We have to stop people who have bad intentions,” said Sheriff Waters. “The story is always about guns. People are bad. This guy is a bad guy.”

“If I could take my gun out right now and put it on this counter, nothing will happen,” he continued. “It would be there. But as soon as a bad person takes that gun and starts shooting people with it, there’s the problem. The problem is the individual.”

“Now, guns are a tool that people use to do horrible things, but it’s the individuals who use them,” he added. “So we’re working hard to try to stop that. But in this situation, in this case, there was nothing that said there was nothing illegal about him having the firearms.”

Florida authorities released images of a gun emblazoned with swastika symbols, which they say belonged to the masked white gunman behind Saturday’s “racially motivated” attack at a Dollar General. Sheriff TK Waters revealed during a news conference Saturday that the gunman entered the store in a predominantly African-American neighborhood shortly after 1 p.m., armed with an AR-15 and a Glock pistol, and began shooting.

Images circulated on the sheriff’s Facebook page revealed white markings and symbols, including at least two swastikas, on the AR-15 rifle. Another photo showed the gun lying next to what appeared to be a pool of blood.

While the names of the shooter and the victims were initially withheld, Waters revealed that the attacker had written “several manifestos,” some sections of which described his “repugnant ideology of hate.” These letters were sent to his parents, federal authorities and at least one media organization shortly before the violent episode.

Sheriff Waters clarified that the gunman acted independently, stating that there is “absolutely no evidence that the shooter was part of a larger group.”

Limited information about Palmeter was initially provided; however, Waters mentioned that the shooter had been involved in a domestic violence incident in 2016 and had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for evaluation at one point. No further details have been released about these incidents.


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