Three people were killed in a 'racially motivated' shooting at a Dollar General store in Florida's Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon, officials said, CNN reported.
The officials said the person suspected of opening fire and killing multiple people in the "racially motivated" attack is also dead.
"This shooting was racially motivated and he hated Black people," Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference, reported CNN. He said the shooter, who is White and shot himself after the attack, left behind evidence that outlined his "disgusting ideology of hate" and his motive in the attack.
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said the suspected shooter was barricaded in the store after opening fire and leaving "multiple fatalities". State Senator Tracie Davis told CNN.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer told CNN the department was "on standby" to treat victims but could not share any information about how many people were hurt.
Jacksonville is located in northeast Florida, about 35 miles south of the Georgia border. The area near the Dollar General store features several churches and an apartment building across the street.
A campus-wide stay-in-place order has been issued by the Edward Waters University, a historically Black private Christian school that is located less than a mile southeast of the store. The warning said students, faculty and staff don't appear to be involved, according to preliminary reports.
The alert said: "Our campus police have secured all campus facilities. Students are being kept in their residence halls through the afternoon until the scene is cleared."
Davis, whose district includes Jacksonville, called the shooting a "tragic day" for the city in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
"I'm offering prayers to the families of the victims and am on my way to meet with (Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters) for answers," Davis posted on Saturday.
"This type of violence is unacceptable in our communities," Davis added.
So far in 2023, there have been at least 470 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting in which four or more people are injured and or killed, not including the shooter.
The nation surpassed the 400 mark in July, - the earliest month such a high number has been recorded since 2013, the group said.
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