Jacksonville shooting: Mourners honour victims of racist attack

Getty Images

A fun-loving young father, a caring mother and a teenage cashier – all black – were killed in a racially motivated weekend shooting in Florida.

Officials have identified the three victims as Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29; Angela Michelle Carr, 52; and, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr, 19.

Police said there was little logic to the white gunman’s violent actions but that he clearly “hated black people”.

The attack in Jacksonville is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

“We have three people who are dead because they are black,” Democratic state lawmaker Tracie Davis said at a vigil the next day.

“The division has to stop, the hate has to stop, the rhetoric has to stop,” Mayor Donna Deegan told fellow mourners. “We are all the same flesh, blood and bones and we should treat each other that way.”

The suspect, armed with a Glock pistol and an AR-15 type rifle, shot at shoppers and employees at a Dollar General store in a predominantly black area of Jacksonville, the most populous city in the state.

Mourners pay tribute to the victims

Getty Images

Surveillance footage shows the gunman firing 11 rounds into a black Kia sedan parked in front of the store before he walks into the premises.

Here’s what we know about the victims:

Angela Michelle Carr

Ms Carr was an Uber driver who had just dropped off a friend at the shop, her son said.

“She would give her shirt off her back for people,” Chayvaughn Payne, 30, told the New York Times. “This is really hard to process. To lose a mother for nothing.”

Mr Payne said his mother was the kind of person who would invite others to cookouts and other family events.

Another son, Vaughn Blanco, shared the news of his loss in a series of emotional Facebook posts over the weekend.

“My momma gone man she was robbed of her life man robbed,” he wrote in one.

“I know we going through things with our parents but call me them make sure they good man you never know how you’re last conversation maybe,” read another.

Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr

Police say Mr Laguerre, the gunman’s second victim, was shot as he tried to flee the Dollar General store.

His father told vigil attendees the young man had recently graduated from high school and was working at the store as a cashier.

“He hasn’t even lived his life yet,” Anolt Laguerre said.

Will Walsh prays at memorials for Jerrald Gallion, Angela Carr and Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr

Getty Images

In a statement, Dollar General confirmed the younger Laguerre had been an employee.

“There is no place for hate at Dollar General or in the communities we serve,” the retailer said, adding it was “focused on providing support, counseling and resources to our teams and their loved ones”.

Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion

Mr Gallion, the third victim, was shot and killed as he walked through the retail store’s front door with his girlfriend.

The young father had planned to spend the weekend with his four-year-old daughter.

“My heart melted for my grand-daughter,” said Sabrina Rozier, his mother-in-law. “She was his world and he was her world.”

“And now we’re trying to figure out how to tell her, because we haven’t told her yet,” she added. “We don’t know yet.”

Mr Gallion’s sister, Latiffany, recalled his sense of humour and work ethic. “My brother shouldn’t have lost his life,” she said, “A simple day of going to the store, and he’s taken away from us forever.”

Candles burn at the memorial for Jerrald Gallion

Getty Images

The restaurant manager attended the local St Paul Missionary Baptist church, according to its senior pastor.

“In two weeks, I have to preach a funeral of a man who should still be alive,” Bishop John Guns said Sunday.

“He was not a gangster, he was not a thug — he was a father who gave his life to Jesus and was trying to get it together. I wept in church today like a baby because my heart is tired. We are exhausted.”

More than 28,000 Americans have died in gun violence this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive not for profit.

Saturday’s attack coincided with the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, a pivotal demonstration in the black civil rights movement.

Related Topics

  • US gun violence
  • Florida
  • Racism
  • United States

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *