The three lives taken Saturday included 52-year-old Angela Carr, 29-year-old Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, and 19-year-old Anotl Joseph Laguerre Jr. PHOTO COURTESY OF YOUTUBE.COM

MIAMI, Fla.– A white gunman opened fire with an AR 15-style rifle at a Jacksonville Dollar General, killing three Black people before turning the gun on himself in what police say was a racially-motivated attack.

It’s the third racially-motivated shooting against Blacks in the U.S. in the past eight years, prompting Democratic law-makers to call for stricter gun laws to keep concealed weapons out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others.

Police identified the alleged shooter as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, who legally bought a hand gun and an AR 15-style rile this year, and called his father and told him he left a will and suicide note on his computer before killing himself.

He had a racial slur written on his weapon and used the N-word several times in the suicide note, police say.

Police identified the victims as Angela Michelle Carr, 52; Jerrald Gallion, 29; and 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr.

A day before the shooting, Palmeter was seen on the campus of Edward Waters University, an HBCU, on Friday and was turned away by a security guard who questioned him about his presence.

Law enforcement officials believed he was planning an attack on campus before the shooting at the Dollar General store.

Police say Palmeter was never arrested for any crime but was temporarily involuntarily held under the Baker Act six years ago.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s running for president, suspended his campaign stop in South Carolina to condemn the hate crime in Jacksonville.

He showed solidarity with the Black community during a vigil, as AfricanAmerican leaders denounced the white supremacy attack on Blacks.

To prevent another racially-motivated attack, DeSantis announced an immediate award of $1 million to beef up security at Edward Waters University, and $100,000 to help the families impacted by the tragedy.

“We are not going to allow our HBCUs to be targets for hateful scumbags,” said DeSantis, who was booed at one point during his appearance. “I’ve directed my administration to use every resource available to ensure the Edward Waters campus is safe following this shooting and to help the impacted families as they mourn their loved ones. “We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race."

But Florida state Rep. Angie Nixon whose district includes where the attack occurred, accused DeSantis of being insincere in his vow to protect constituents from racial violence.

She said DeSantis is basing much of his campaigning, both for governor and, now, for the Republican nomination for president, on racial fear and grievance, issues she said help fuel violence against people of color.

"This is a governor who has done nothing but fan these types of happenings throughout our state," Nixon told reporters. "At the end of the day, the governor has blood on his hands."

The shooting occurred on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The 1963 event was to advocate for civil and economic rights for Blacks and where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Miami Congresswoman Fredrica Wilson said white supremacy is alive and well in Fla. years later, and it goes unchecked from the rest of America.

"The disrespect of Black people has reached a tipping point in this country and it’s time to declare a state of emergency," she said. "When you preach racism, hate, and division from the highest level, it ignites the demons in the hearts and minds of racist bigots. And they act on those sentiments and kill Black people For God’s sake."

Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, whose district covers portions of Broward and Palm Beach Counties, echoed similar sentiments.

"Three innocent Black lives were senselessly taken," she said. "My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones in this vile act of violence and to the entire Jacksonville community. We must stand firmly against hatred, and those who peddle it, before extremism engulfs our state and more Black lives are needlessly lost."

In Washington, several gun control measures have been proposed by Democrats to keep guns away from people who are a danger to themselves and others but Republicans have rejected legislation since 2019 including gun owners being required to lock up their guns at home.

Under the Republican-control legislation, Florida now allows people to carry guns without a permit, background check and training, prompting fear that gun violence will increase.

The Jacksonville shooting marked the third time a racially-motivated attack against Blacks that was carried out by white supremacy since 2015.

Last year, 18-year-old Payton Gendron shot and killed 10 people at a Black neighborhood supermarket in Buffalo, New York in what police said was racially-motivated.

The attacker shouted racial slurs during the shooting and suggested that he had a racial slur written on his weapon.

Gendron was sentenced to life in prison.

Dylann Roof was sentenced to death after he was convicted of killing nine Black members of a church in South Carolina in 2015 when was 21 years old.

According to authorities, Roof was an admitted white supremacist when he carried out the shooting massacre.

In 2021, there were about 3,906 victims of anti-Black hate crimes in the United States, making it the racially motivated hate crime with the most victims in that year, according to the Statista Research Department.