The man who shot and killed three Black people at a Dollar General in Jacksonville on Saturday, identified in his writings a slew of other potential targets — including Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly.
In two chilling passages from writings that Rolling Stone has reviewed, Ryan Christopher Palmeter — who turned the gun on himself after killing Angela Michelle Carr, 52; Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19; and Jerrald Gallion, 29 — listed both rappers by their given names alongside their stage monikers.
“Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers, aka Slim Shady aka Ken Keniff, aka the white guy from D12): Stared the abyss (being ni–dly) and the abyss stared back (becoming a ni—er),” he wrote. “Walks the edge of ni–er lover and honorary ni–er. Fell off not because his new stuff sucked but because the lyrics were gay annoying liberal shit. ROE for Total Ni–er Death is to include Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers, aka Slim Shady aka Ken Keniff, aka the white guy from D12) as a valid target and he is to be killed on sight.”
The killer’s writings shed light on his motivations and his vile, grandiose beliefs. In his screed he hoped for a race war. And he praised fellow killers, including the Oklahoma City bomber, the Norwegian summer camp killer, and the Virginia Tech school shooter for committing mass murder. He looked down on the extremist group the Boogaloo Boys as “larpers” — people only role-playing at spreading hate.
Racist mass shooters are often characterized as “lone wolves” by law enforcement. And the Jacksonville shooter acted alone in his crime. But the gunman’s writing reveals the way in which such criminals often see themselves as connected to and building off the horrific exploits of previous mass killers, even as they hope that their violence will inspire the next generation of shooters.
Palmeter continued his screed, turning his sights to Machine Gun Kelly. The gunman’s writing suggests he may have been close enough to the rapper to have taken a shot. “Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly): Honorable ni–er. To be killed on sight like Eminem because I didn’t get a shot at him up in Ohio.”
Machine Gun Kelly and representatives for Eminem did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment. The FBI had no comment.
Others named in the writings include Justice Clarence Thomas (“The rare principled conservative, interprets laws based the Constitution instead of doing f—y activist shit like the last half-century’s worth of Supreme Court justices,” he wrote) and Timothy McVeigh, the domestic terrorist who killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Palmeter painted him in a seeming positive light, writing “He now lives in our hearts.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray mentioned the shooter’s writings during the briefing call on Monday with law enforcement and community leaders, Rolling Stone previously reported. The investigation to this point “reveals the perpetrator of Saturday’s attack through his own writings, through the references he made, and through his actions, make clear his intentions, his actions, his motivations, his hate,” he said.
On Saturday, Palmeter entered a Jacksonville Dollar General dressed in a tactical vest and was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 rifle, which had swastika markings on it, officials said. Authorities said prior to heading to the Dollar General, Palmeter made two stops: one was a Family Dollar store about a mile away from where the shooting took place, and after he was seen nearby on the campus of Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution.
Officials continue to piece together the events leading to the massacre. On Monday, during a call to brief national law enforcement and local leaders, details about the shooter’s motivations and investigation were disclosed. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters provided a second-by-second timeline. The sheriff also said that in 2017, “He went for a 72 hour evaluation, but he was not committed to a mental institution.” He added on the call that he believed the shooter was able to legally purchase firearms in April and June this year because the 2017 evaluation did not result in him being committed to a mental institution and because he was 15 at the time.
According to law enforcement reports, later, while speaking with Clay County authorities, Palmeter said that he could not handle the stress any longer and that he had planned to ride his bicycle towards a Bank of America tower in downtown Jacksonville to jump off of it. The sheriff said Monday that because he hadn’t been committed to an institution and because he was a juvenile he was allowed to legally purchase firearms used in the attack.
“The shooter used multiple electronic devices with a significant amount of data,” Sherri Onks, Special Agent in charge of FBI Jacksonville office, said during the call on Monday. “So far we have identified multiple writings” that show a “hatred against African Americans and belief in the inferiority of Black people. There’s also evidence he harbored anti LGBTQ+ and anti-Semitic grievances.” She said the weapons and body armor used in Saturday’s attack “had references to previous mass shootings.” She added that the shooter hoped to inspire others to carry out similar attacks.
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