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3 killed in ‘racially motivated’ shooting in Florida – police

The fatal shooting of three black victims in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday has been “racially motivated,” police said.

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The assailant opened fire at around 2 pm local time at a Dollar General store. He wore a tactical vest and was armed with an “AR-style” rifle and handgun, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told reporters. He added that the gunman took his own life.

“This shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people,” Waters said. According to the sheriff, the suspect had left messages for his parents, the media, and police.

“He targeted a certain group of people, and that’s black people, that’s what he said he wanted to kill. And that’s very clear,” Waters explained. 

No details have yet been released about the suspect’s identity, other than that he was in his 20s.

The incident took place not far from Edward Waters University, a historically black school. The university has issued a “stay in place” order for students residing on campus.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan condemned the gunman. “One shooting is too much but these mass shootings are really hard to take,” she told a local TV station.

In 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine people inside a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was sentenced to death two years later.

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