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Heartbroken families: Leaders speak after Jacksonville shooting

Florida Attorney Ben Crump said "We have to prevent attacks like this from happening again!," as faith leaders and family spoke about the tragedy.
Heartbroken families: Leaders speak after Jacksonville shooting
Posted at 2:41 PM, Aug 28, 2023

The community and leaders are coming together to try to heal after three people were shot and killed in what is being called a shooting with racist motivations in Jacksonville, Florida. Police say 52-year-old Angela Carr, 19-year-old Anolt Joseph "AJ" Laguerre Jr., and 29-year-old Jarrald De'Shaun Gallion were killed by a gunman on Saturday when he opened fire inside, and outside of a Dollar General store.

Carr was dropping off a friend when she was killed inside her vehicle.

Florida-based civil rights attorney Ben Crump was retained by Carr's family.

Crump said in a statement released on Monday, "Three families and an entire community are facing the devastating impacts of hate without bounds. Children are now without their loving parents and these families will never be whole again."

Crump also said in his statement, "We have to prevent attacks like this from happening again!"

"We have this young white supremacist, with hate in his heart, to go murder innocent Black people, just because of the color of their skin," Crump told reporters on Monday. 

"How many more [mass shootings] before the leaders will step up and solve these issues, instead of looking the other way?" Crump said. 

Crump said his team will be looking at how the suspect was able to get a gun, and more about what motivated him to shoot multiple people. 

SEE MORE: Victims identified in racist shooting at Jacksonville Dollar General

President Joe Biden said on Monday while meeting with civil rights leaders and the King family at the White House, "I've spoken to the authorities in Jacksonville, and I spoke to the governor as well last night for some time. And right now, I was, I asked whether or not it was appropriate for the local, the local people to contact the families. Two of them are prepared to be contacted. One does not want to be contacted. I'm letting things settle because, you know, everybody deals with profound loss in a different way. And it's important that — I know from experience — it's important to try to do it in a way that is most helpful, and eases the anxiety the most. So, I haven't spoken to them yet," the president told reporters. 

The attack occurred about half a mile from Edward Waters University in Florida, a historically Black college with about 1,000 students enrolled. School officials said the gunman was spotted on campus prior to the attack and was asked by security to leave after refusing to identify himself. 

He was reportedly seen putting on tactical gear before driving off. 

Vice President Kamala Harris said, "Unity is our power as a nation, and I do believe that we must be guided by knowing that we have so much more in common than what separates us. We must be committed to building communities, and building coalitions — understanding that is how we strengthen ourselves as a nation."

Surveillance footage from the Dollar General in Jacksonville showed the man entering a store in a mask, while carrying a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.  

Photos from police showed a swastika had been painted on one of the weapons. Authorities said the suspect had obtained the weapons legally, despite once being committed involuntarily for a mental health exam. 

Later on Monday, while speaking on Scripps News, Crump said, "It is heartbreaking that on this day, 60 years after MLK's 'I Have a Dream' speech, that we are having to hold a four-year-old girl, having to explain to her how people are still not being judged by the content of their character, but are getting killed because of the color of their skin."

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