New details are emerging about the man who walked into a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Fla., killing four people, including himself.
The gunman,Ryan Palmeter, was a former Dollar Tree employee. The day of the shooting, Palmeter had also stopped at a separate store, a Family Dollar store, prior to the shooting at the Dollar General, reports the Associated Press.
No one was harmed at the Family Dollar store.
New details of the shooting surfaced during a press conference on April 28. Duvall County Sheriff T.K. Waters said the shooter, Palmeter, was employed by Dollar Tree from October 2021 to July 2022.
The gunman’s first stop at the Family Dollar store had security footage showing him entering the store and leaving with a bag. A security guard then pulled into the parking lot and the shooter left before driving into a parking lot at the nearby Edward Waters University and putting on tactical gear.
Palmeter then drove to the Dollar General, where two civilians and one worker were all shot and killed. The shooter then took his own life. Two guns were used in the attack, and they were both legally registered.
Waters said the shooter originally targeted the Family Dollar location but grew impatient when the security guard showed up.
Authorities also believe the attack was racially motivated, reports the Associated Press. The store is in a predominantly Black neighborhood, and the shooting was carried out when Jacksonville was getting ready to observe Ax Handle Saturday — an event commemorating a racially-motivated attack on Aug. 27, 1960, where a white mob with baseball bats and ax handles attacked a group of Black demonstrators who were at a downtown lunch counter protesting segregation on.
All of the victims in the Dollar General shooting were also Black.
Authorities also said Palmeter texted his father before the shooting and asked him to break into his room and check his computer. That is when the father found a diary that indicated Palmeter’s hatred of Black people, reports the AP. The diary also contained homicidal and suicidal threats.
In an email statement to Supermarket News, Dollar General said:
“The DG family mourns the loss of our colleague Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre, Jr., who, along with two of our customers, were the victims of senseless violence. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and friends as we all try to comprehend this tragedy. There is no place for hate at Dollar General or in the communities we serve.
“Right now, we are focused on providing support, counseling and resources to our teams and their loved ones, and we are evaluating how we can best support and stand with the greater Jacksonville community during this sad and difficult time.”