The gunman in the Jacksonville, Fla., mass shooting expressed his "hatred toward African Americans" and other groups in multiple "racist writings and rants," the FBI's Jacksonville special agent in charge, Sherri E. Onks, told state and local law enforcement partners on a conference call Monday, ABC News reports. "One of the primary themes throughout the writings is a belief in the inferiority of Black people," Onks said during the call. "And there's also evidence that he harbored anti-LGBTQ+ and antisemitic grievances." The shooter, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, fatally shot himself after killing three Black people at a Dollar General store.
Palmeter, who was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a pistol, left behind a last will and testament and writings that read like "the diary of a madman," Sheriff T.K. Waters said. FBI Director Christopher Wray called the targeted attack "a hate crime that was racially motivated." Wray told law enforcement partners on the call that violence "motivated by racial or ethnic bias is a particularly serious concern." This concern is well-founded because racially motivated hate crimes across the country have risen to an "all-time high," according to Kristin Clarke, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Monday evening, hundreds of people attended a protest that was originally organized to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. They called for action to denounce white supremacy, according to The Washington Post. Speakers demanded that all symbols of the Confederacy be removed from public spaces across the city, that local and state leaders forcefully condemn racial violence, and that Florida’s schools teach “accurate and authentic history.”