Prayer Vigil Turns Hostile Towards Florida Governor DeSantis After Jacksonville Shooting

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced boos and jeers at a prayer vigil held for the victims of a recent mass shooting in Jacksonville.

The incident took place on Sunday, August 27, 2023, as the governor tried to address the crowd gathered to mourn the tragic loss of life.

The vigil occurred just a block away from the Jacksonville Dollar General store, situated in a predominantly black neighborhood, where the dreadful shooting occurred.

The suspected shooter, identified as 21-year-old Ryan Palmeter, opened fire on innocent civilians on the previous day, using legally purchased firearms, despite being involuntarily committed for a mental health examination in 2017.

Governor DeSantis attended the vigil to offer his condolences to the victims’ families, but he was interrupted by loud boos from the crowd as he delivered his speech. This was captured in multiple videos by attendees and reported by the Associated Press.

Despite the hostile reception, DeSantis remained firm in his message.

He condemned the shooter, labeling him as a “major league scumbag,” and deemed his actions as “totally unacceptable in the state of Florida.”

The governor also assured the crowd that Florida would not tolerate racially motivated violence, stating, “We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race.”

In an attempt to calm the unrest, Jacksonville City Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman, who spoke before DeSantis, appealed to the crowd to listen to the governor’s address.

She reminded the audience that tragedy goes beyond political affiliations, saying, “It ain’t about parties today. A bullet doesn’t know a party.”

The governor additionally announced plans for the state to allocate funding for security at Edward Waters University and to assist the victims’ families. The victims of the shooting were identified as Angela Michelle Carr, 52, A.J. Laguerre, 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29.

Authorities revealed that Palmeter left behind a manifesto containing white supremacist writings, indicating a racial motive behind the attack. Sheriff T.K. Waters described the writings as the “diary of a madman” and stated that Palmeter “hated black people.”

This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.

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