Rep. Maxwell Frost slams Gov. Ron DeSantis for Jacksonville shooting

“The far-right fascist movement, embraced by Gov. @RonDeSantis, is murdering people,” said Frost, the Democratic congressman from Florida.

Members of Congress condemned the deadly shooting that took place at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday. 

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford issued a statement on behalf of the CBC and declared “hatred and white supremacist violence will not win in America.” 

Law enforcement officials continue their investigation at a Dollar General store that was the scene of a mass shooting Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by John Raoux/AP)

“We extend our sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones of the three Black Americans who lost their lives in yesterday’s horrific attack,” said Rep. Horsford, the Democrat from Nevada.

“On the same day that our nation reflected on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington – a day when Americans from all walks of life gathered in Washington to stand against hatred, bigotry and inequality – another American community was terrorized by white supremacist violence,” he noted. 

Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida took to social media following the tragedy and wrote, “A racist bigot walked into a store to murder Black people.”

“The far-right fascist movement, embraced by Gov. @RonDeSantis, is murdering people,” he added. 

In recent months, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has rolled back gun restrictions, even allowing permitting gun owners to carry without background checks.  

In this case, the alleged gunman legally obtained firearms despite being subjected to an involuntary mental health evaluation in the past, the Associated Press reported.

On Saturday, the shooter — identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter — entered a Dollar General and opened fire for about 11 minutes, using an AR-15 style rifle and fatally wounding three victims: 19-year-old Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., a Dollar General employee; 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr and 29-year-old Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion. 

According to law enforcement, Palmeter purposely targeted Black people and left behind evidence during the rampage, including racist writings and the use of racial slurs, which informed police that the incident was racially motivated. 

Earlier that day, Palmeter had his sights on another target: Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution. He drove to the campus, however, he was denied access. He then drove to the Dollar General. 

Area residents gather for a prayer near the scene of a mass shooting at a Dollar General store Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by John Raoux/AP)

On Sunday, DeSantis attended a community vigil to remember the lives lost in the weekend shooting, however, his presence was not welcomed: He found himself booed while he tried to deliver remarks. 

At this time, the Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism. 

“One of the Justice Department’s first priorities upon its founding in 1870 was to bring to justice white supremacists who used violence to terrorize Black Americans,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement obtained by theGrio.

“No person in this country should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence,” Garland said, “and no family should have to grieve the loss of a loved one to bigotry and hate.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today!