White Florida shooter who killed three Black people 'wrote racist manifestos'



The white gunman who shot and killed three Black people in Florida on Saturday bought his guns legally and wrote of his hatred of Black people, local law enforcement said on Sunday.

The 21-year-old shooter, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, lived with his parents in a suburb of Jacksonville, Sheriff T.K. Waters told a news conference. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Racially motivated

Authorities say the shooter left behind several manifestos for media, his parents and law enforcement, detailing his hatred for Black people.

Sheriff Waters said the shooter made clear in his writings that he hated Black people.

"There was no criminal record, nothing," Waters said, adding the only thing on file was a domestic violence call with his brother. "There were no red flags."

However, the sheriff said Palmeter was briefly held in 2017 under a state law called the Baker Act, which states a person can be "taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination" during a mental health crisis.

Investigation underway

President Joe Biden said in a statement on Sunday that the shooting occurred the same day the country marked the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, scene of Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I have a dream" speech.

"We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin," Biden said.

The Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an "act of racially motivated violent extremism," U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. Garland said the shooting would be investigated as a hate crime.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Sunday the state would work with the school to ensure it has adequate security following Saturday's shooting.

DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, has been sharply criticized by Black leaders for what they say is his government's attack on Black history.

In January, Florida banned an Advanced Placement course on African-American history from being offered to high school students. In July, the state changed how history is taught in schools.