JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the community continues to grieve after a racist shooting spree at a Jacksonville Dollar General Saturday, the 911 call the gunman’s father made that day is revealing new details about his son.
It appears the call was prompted by a text the gunman sent to his father after he shot the three victims. According to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, the text instructed the shooter’s father to use a screwdriver to get into his room, where he had left a suicide note and a racist manifesto.
The gunman’s father made the call shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday, according to records from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
The father’s call to 911:
Dispatch: “Do you know where he is right now?”
The caller sounds calm for the most part as he provides information to help police track down his son.
Father: “I’m sorry. I’m a little upset.”
Dispatch: “No you’re fine. Just take deep breaths.”
He reveals his 21-year-old son drove away from their Oakleaf home a few hours earlier
Dispatch: “Has he done anything like this before? Or has he said anything like this before?”
Father: “When he was 15, he left a note, a suicide note. And got on his bike and was headed downtown to jump off a building.”
Records show he left a suicide note then, saying he couldn’t handle his stress.
But on Saturday, police say, he left a note saying he was suicidal *and* homicidal.
Police said despite the past suicide attempt, the gunman was able to legally buy the weapons he used in the mass shooting–a glock and an AR-15 rifle inscribed with Swastikas.
Dispatch: “And does your son go anywhere that you know of? Is there like a common place?”
Dispatch: “that he goes to…?”
Father: “No, he doesn’t go anywhere.”
Dispatch: “Oh, he dosen’t go anywhere?”
Father: “Yeah. He, uh…flunked out of Flagler College. Moved home–a couple years ago–had a job for awhile at Home Depot and lost that job and pretty much been living in his room.”
He also tells the officer his son was prescribed medication for depression– 10 mg of escitalopram, a common SSRI also known as Lexapro.
Father: “It doesn’t look like he’s been taking them. This was filled July 23, and the bottle’s full.”
“The data suggest that while it is critical that we continue to identify those individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders at high risk for violence and prevent the perpetration of violence, other risk factors, such as a history of legal problems, challenges coping with severe and acute life stressors, and the epidemic of the combination of nihilism, emptiness, anger, and a desire for notoriety among young men, seem a more useful focus for prevention and policy than an emphasis on serious mental illness, which leads to public fear and stigmatization,” said study author Dr. Ragy Girgis, who is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University.
The victims of the shooting include 52-year-old Angela Carr, who is described as a loving mother who was at work as an Uber driver when she was shot.
Jerrald Gaillon, 29, is remembered as the doting father of a four-year-old girl. AJ Laguerre, Jr., 19, was the youngest of seven siblings. He worked at Dollar General and is remembered as a gentle soul who dreamed of becoming a professional video game streamer.
GoFundMe has verified the authenticity of a fundraiser for Laguerre’s funeral expenses. You can donate here.
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