AN onlooker had a lot to say to Ron DeSantis during a press conference on Thursday, prompting the Florida governor to offer some heated words of his own.
The unidentified man blamed DeSantis for the recent shooting at a Dollar General in Jacksonville that left three black people dead.
Ryan Palmer, 21, launched his hateful attack after storming the store on August 26th.
At the news conference, the man accused DeSantis of allowing policies “that harm people like me and the people I love,” including his children.
“They allowed guns to fill the streets of immature, hateful people who caused the deaths of the people who were murdered a few weeks ago.”
The man then began talking about the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in 2012.
However, DeSantis quickly interrupted him and said, “I didn’t allow for anything with that.”
The man tried to talk about DeSantis and told him to “let me finish,” but DeSantis interrupted him again.
“I will not allow you to accuse me of criminal activity,” the presidential candidate said. “I won’t accept that.”
Desantis said Palmer, the gunman in the Jacksonville shooting, should have been “Baker Acted,” referring to a state law that allows family members to involuntarily institutionalize a person experiencing a mental health crisis.
“He should have been declared ineligible,” DeSantis said. “But they didn’t commit him involuntarily.”
However, Palmer was reportedly involuntarily detained for emergency psychiatric care in 2017 WJAX-TV.
The man tried again to get DeSantis to make his point, but the governor wouldn’t let him finish.
“There is the truth. There’s some truth to that. That’s not it – not everyone has their own truth,” DeSantis said.
The murderer is exposed
According to Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters, Palmer was driven by a “disgusting ideology of hate.”
“This shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people,” Waters said.
“He targeted a particular group of people and that is black people. That’s what he said, he wanted to kill. And that is very clear.”
Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19, De’Shaun Gallion, 29, and Angela Michelle Carr, 52, were murdered in the area of the Dollar General Store.
Palmer burst into the store wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AR-15 covered in hand-drawn swastikas.
Official images of the weapons used in the shooting showed one with Nazi symbols.
“It’s a shooting that should never have happened under any circumstances,” Waters said, calling it “a dark day in the history of Jacksonville.”
Palmer left behind evidence such as hateful writings that showed investigators the attack was planned on the fifth anniversary of another shooting in Jacksonville that left two people and the gunman dead, Waters said.
“This was, quite frankly, a madman who decided to take lives,” he said.
The targeted Dollar General Store Palmer is less than a mile from Edward Waters University, a historically black college.
The killer had been turned away from campus shortly before the shooting.
The university released a statement saying that a security guard near the school library asked the shooter to identify himself, and when Palmer refused, he was turned away.
The shooter then walked back to his car and was seen putting on his vest and mask before leaving, according to Waters.
The sheriff added that it was unknown whether the school was the original target of the gunman’s attack.
“I can’t tell you what his attitude was when he was there, but he went there,” Waters said.