A Florida sheriff released photos of a firearm bearing images of a swastika that investigators say was in the possession of a masked White gunman who carried out a deadly, racially motivated shooting inside a Dollar General on Saturday.
The shooter, who was in his 20s, was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock handgun when he walked into the store in a predominately African-American neighborhood shortly after 1 p.m. and opened fire, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said during a news conference Saturday.
Images shared on the sheriff’s Facebook page show white lettering and symbols painted on the AR-15 rifle. A close-up of the weapon shows at least two swastikas painted on the rifle. A third photo showed the handgun next to a pool of what appeared to be blood.
Two men and one woman were killed before the gunman killed himself at the scene, the sheriff said.
“Plainly put, the shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people,” Waters said.
The names of the victims and the shooter were not immediately released.
In addition to carrying a firearm with a painted symbol of the genocidal Nazi regime of Germany of the 1930s and 1940s, Waters said the shooter authored “several manifestos,” with portions describing the suspect’s “disgusting ideology of hate.”
The shooter had sent the writings to his parents, federal law enforcement and at least one media outlet shortly before the attack.
Waters said the gunman acted alone and “there is absolutely no evidence the shooter is part of any larger group.”
Few details were immediately provided about the shooter, though Waters said he had once been involved in a 2016 domestic violence incident and was once involuntarily committed to a mental hospital for examination. No further details on those incidents were provided.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes and the Associated Press contributed to this report.