In Jacksonville, Florida, another tragic racially-motivated attack unfolded over the weekend, leaving three Black people dead and a community in mourning. The assailant is a 21-year-old white man named Ryan Palmeter.
The incident from Saturday afternoon once again highlights the deep-seated issue of hate-fueled violence in the United States.
Keep reading to find moving photos from Jacksonville as the northern Florida city heals from deadly white supremacist terror.
The victims of the mass shooting at a Dollar General store were employee Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre, 19; customer Jerrald Gallion, 29; and Angela Michelle Carr, 52.
According to CBS News, Palmeter managed to obtain guns legally despite a prior involuntary mental health commitment.
It was determined that Palmeter first went to a different dollar store before leaving as security approached. He then drove to nearby Edward Waters University, Florida’s oldest historically Black college, where students spotted him putting on tactical gear like an armored vest. The students quickly notified campus security, which managed to chase Palmeter off campus only for him to ultimately arrive at the Dollar General store about half a mile away to carry out his racist carnage.
In honor of the victims, hundreds of people have been gathering at local prayer vigils and churches. Attendees have been expressing their frustration and exhaustion with the recurring nature of such attacks. The gatherings have included hundreds of individuals who attended an evening vigil near the Dollar General store where the shooting occurred.
The incident also brought more negative attention to Florida, especially, the state’s gun laws, which have been controversially loosened under the leadership of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is currently running for the GOP nomination for president. He decided to visit the vigil with his wife but was promptly greeted with strong backlash and boos from the crowd as he addressed the people attending the vigil.
“Governor DeSantis has created and pushed a narrative of division and hate that is anti-Black,” said Rev. Jeffrey Rumlin, pastor of The Dayspring Church in Jacksonville.
In addition, social media users wasted no time and joined in the criticism of DeSantis by expressing their feelings about him making an appearance. Some users even added a touch of humor to their criticism.
DeSantis has become known across the country for pushing his anti-Black agenda, particularly when it comes to Black history being taught in the state’s schools. The NAACP even issued a travel advisory for the state due to DeSantis’ negative stance towards Black people, who were cautioned against visiting there.
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color,” the advisory read in part.
All of these reactions show that people are frustrated with DeSantis’ choices and have at least assigned him partial blame for fostering an environment that enables racist violence like the mass shooting in Jacksonville.
As our thoughts continue to center on the tragedy and those killed from it, let us also reflect on the strength of the affected community.
Scroll down to find a compilation of images captured in and around Jacksonville following the deadly and racist mass shooting there.
1. Rep. Angela Nixon side-eyeing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Rep. Angela Nixon side-eyeing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he speaks at vigil for three victims of a racially motivated mass shooting in Jacksonville.
2. A demonstrator holds a sign with a photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.Source:Getty
A demonstrator holds a sign with a photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida state Rep. Angela Nixon during a rally against white supremacy on August 28, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida.
3. A woman yells as Governor Ron DeSantis is speaking to the crowd.Source:Getty
A woman yells as Governor Ron DeSantis gives a speech at a vigil to honor the victims of a deadly shooting took place in Jacksonville, Florida.
4. Demonstrator holds a sign referencing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.Source:Getty
A demonstrator holds a sign referencing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the sign reads “DeKlantis Bloody Hands.”
5. Protestors rally in honor of the victims.Source:Getty
People march to honor the victims of a deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida on August 28, 2023.
6. People viewing the memorial for the victims.Source:Getty
People at a memorial for the victims of a shooting that took place in Jacksonville, Florida on August 28, 2023.
7. Crowd of people looking at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he speaks.
A group of people observing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis while he speaks, with women in green showing him a skeptical glance.
8. Protest signs on the ground before a rally.Source:Getty
Protest signs sit on the ground before a rally against white supremacy on August 28, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida.
9. Texas based artists work on a memorial in honor of the victims.Source:Getty
Texas based artist Robert Marquez, left, and Floridian Will Walsh work on memorials for Jerrald Gallion, Angela Carr and Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., as a person grieves, near a Dollar General store where the were shot and killed two days earlier on August 28, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida.
10. Candles burn at memorials for Angela Carr, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr. and Jerrald Gallion.Source:Getty
The memorial for Angela Carr, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr. and Jerrald Gallion near a Dollar General store where they were killed the day before on August 27, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida.
11. Edward Waters UniversitySource:Getty
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