The avowed White supremacist who shot and killed three Black people in Florida had first visited the campus of a historically Black college just prior to the bloodbath at a nearby Dollar General.
The still unidentified White man was described as being in his 20s and was filmed visiting Edward Waters University, a private Christian HBCU in Jacksonville. The New York Times confirmed that he “had been spotted on the campus” after reportedly driving from his parents’ home in Clay County.
The university’s president Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. confirmed that the White man was confronted by campus security and directed off the school grounds.
“We learned that the perpetrator of this heinous act did come to the Edward Waters campus via his vehicle and drive onto the campus,” Faison said in a video posted to the institution’s Facebook page. Faison added that campus security “directly confronted this perpetrator almost immediately” and determined he had no affiliation with the institution.
Faison continued, saying: “The perpetrator did put on an armored vest and get back in his vehicle and at that time our campus security pursued him further and directed him off of the Edward Waters campus.”
🚨 EWU CAMPUS SAFETY ALERT 🚨
— Edward Waters University (@ewctigers) August 26, 2023
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference early Saturday evening that “this shooting was racially motivated and he hated Black people.”
The White shooter killed two men and one woman before shooting himself. Waters said the man left behind three manifestos detailing his “disgusting ideology of hate” as well as his motive for the killings.
The White man may have used the campus, which is blocks away from the Dollar General, as a place to don his tactical gear and then carry out mass murder.
“He took that opportunity to put his bulletproof vest on outside and to put his mask on outside and then proceed to the store where he committed this horrible act,” Waters told CNN.