The news coming out of Jacksonville, Florida this weekend could not possibly be any worse for the three victims and their families of America’s latest mass shooting, but it is possible that an even bigger tragedy was averted by an alert security guard on the campus of Jacksonville’s Historic Black College – Edward Waters University.
The security guard spotted the shooter on campus before the murders and asked the creep for some ID and then asked that he leave the campus when he refused to produce any.
Thwarted in his effort to make even a louder overtly political statement by shooting up an HBU, the killer instead targeted the Dollar General Store across the street.
“The shooter first went to the campus of Edward Waters University, where he refused to identify himself to an on-campus security officer and was asked to leave, the university stated in a news release.
“The individual returned to their car and left campus without incident. The encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by EWU security,” the school said.
The suspect put on a bulletproof vest and mask while still on campus, and then went to the nearby Dollar General, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told CNN’s Jim Acosta. Armed with an AR-15 style rifle and a handgun, the gunman opened fire outside the store and then again inside, fatally shooting the three victims before killing himself, according to Waters.
The three victims killed, two males and one female, were all Black, the sheriff said.“
The ABC11 article also points out the the gunman had been detained under Florida’s Baker Act in 2017 which allows for an involuntary mental health examination when…
There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.
Now this happened at least six years ago, but one would think that a 15 year old boy, which the shooter was in 2017, after whatever behaviors led to this extreme measure, would at least have to jump through a couple of extra hoops to legally purchase a handgun and AR type rifle and shoot up the neighborhood six years later.
Apparently his gun shopping is not an issue in Florida:
“The gunman, identified as 21-year-old (redacted by author), bought a handgun in April and an AR-15-style rifle in June, the sheriff said. He lived with his parents in nearby Orange Park and had no criminal arrest history, although he had been involuntarily held under the Baker Act in 2017, the sheriff said.
“In this situation, there was nothing illegal about him owning the firearms,” he said.
I get that society cannot suspend the rights of someone because they experienced an mental health crisis, and would not advocate for such.
But when a 21 year old later wants to purchase a handgun and a semi-automatic six years later would a voluntary re-examination, or at least a couple of questions answered for local authorities be in the best interest of all?
The gunman, identified as 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, bought a handgun in April and an AR-15-style rifle in June, the sheriff said. He lived with his parents in nearby Orange Park and had no criminal arrest history, although he had been involuntarily held under the Baker Act in 2017, the sheriff said.
“”In this situation, there was nothing illegal about him owning the firearms,” he said.””
In any case I am thankful that one alert security guard was able to avert what could have been an even bigger catastrophe on a crowded college campus.
Whoever than man or woman is, they aren’t being paid enough.