‘These Deaths Are on Your Hands!’: Florida Gov. DeSantis Heckled at Vigil for Victims of Jacksonville Dollar General White Supremacist Shooter

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was heckled at a vigil held for the victims of a mass shooting over the weekend. 

Ryan Palmeter, a 21-year white gunman, opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at a Dollar General in Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon, killing three Black people. The victims were identified as 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre Jr., 29-year-old Jerrald Gallion, and 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was booed at a vigil for victims of the Jacksonville Dollar General shooting
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was booed at a vigil for victims of the Jacksonville Dollar General shooting. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Authorities said the attack was “racially motivated,” and investigations from multiple agencies are in motion. 

RELATED: ‘It Comes from a Place of Ignorance’: Dr. Rashad Richey Accuses Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of Taking Table ‘Conversations of Bigots’ and Making Law

On Sunday, hundreds gathered for a vigil to honor the victims near the location, and DeSantis was met with loud boos by people in attendance. As the AP reported, Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman, who represents the area where the tragedy occurred, stepped in to manage the crowd.

“It ain’t about parties today,” Pittman said. “A bullet don’t know a party.”


DeSantis announced funding will be sent to the families of the victims and put into security efforts at Edward Waters University — an HBCU where the gunman was stopped by campus officers before the shooting at the Dollar General blocks away, according to reports. 

During his speech, DeSantis called the shooter “a scumbag” and added that his actions were “totally unacceptable.” People in attendance candidly labeled the gunman as “a racist.” Others could be heard saying, “Your policies caused this” towards the governor. One man yelled, “These deaths are on your hands.”

“We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race,” said DeSantis, per WJAX-TV. “We are going to stand up, and we are going to do what we need to do to make sure evil doesn’t triumph in the state of Florida.” 

Law enforcement said Palmeter, who killed himself inside the store after police arrived at the shooting scene, wrote manifestos that conveyed a “disgusting ideology of hate.” Palmeter, who lived with his parents more than 15 miles from the shooting scene in neighboring Clay County, was found with a weapon with swastikas on it. The shooting comes just over a year after Black people were targeted and killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. 

In a statement sent to WJXT, Dollar General said the incident was a “senseless act of violence.” 

“At this time, supporting our Jacksonville employees and the DG family impacted by this tragedy is a top priority as we work closely with law enforcement,” the company said. 

Back to top