(BrightPress.org) – A racially motivated shooting in Florida that left three black people dead is at the center of a new lawsuit by the families of the victims. They are suing the Dollar General store in northern Florida for negligence, as well as the building’s owner and security company
The 21-year-old shooter attempted to enter a black college campus and another store but had been blocked by security at both venues. The shooter, Ryan Palmeter, had cased the locations around Jacksonville before the shooting which happened in August of this year.
The legally owned and purchased weapons used in the attack were a handgun and a semiautomatic rifle. Palmeter had no prior criminal history, but he was involuntarily held for mental health concerns in 2017 under the Baker Act.
The shooting was established as an anti-black hate crime due to writings made by Palmeter and a note found after his death. He also used racial slurs during the attack and scrawled swastikas on his rifle. Palmeter killed himself at the scene after shooting his three victims.
His victims were identified as Jerrald Gallion, 29; Angela Michelle Carr, 52; and Joseph Laguerre Jr., 19. Gallion was the father of a 4-year-old daughter and was described as a fun and loving young man.
Lawyers for the families argue that Palmeter had been turned away by security at two other locations, had he been turned away at Dollar General, their loved ones may still be alive. They also argue that crime in the area has been high recently, suggesting the store should have improved its security.
Palmeter’s family is also named in the lawsuit.
Palmeter sent a text message to his father during the attack instructing him to check his computer where he had written a suicide note and elaborated on his dislike of black people. He’d previously been involved in a domestic violence incident in 2016 but wasn’t arrested or charged with a crime.
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