Ryan Palmeter, Dollar General Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

ryan palmeter

Sheriff/Twitter (Ryan Palmeter) Ryan Palmeter

Ryan Palmeter was identified as the white 21-year-old suspect who is accused of committing a racist mass shooting targeting Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 26, 2023, that left 3 people and the gunman dead, the Jacksonville sheriff confirmed in a news conference.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said in a news conference that the shooter entered the Jacksonville Dollar General store around 1 p.m. in a tactical vest, armed with a handgun and AR-style rifle with swastikas scrawled on it. He killed three people – two men in the store and a woman in the parking lot – before turning the gun on himself, taking his own life, Waters said. The sheriff gave his full name as Ryan Christopher Palmeter.

Palmeter left a manifesto the sheriff called the “diary of a madman.” He said it was an irrational document, but that the suspect knew what he was doing. Authorities have not yet released the manifesto. “This guy’s a bad guy,” Waters said.

In a news conference on August 27, 2023, the sheriff released some surveillance video. The surveillance video scenes start just after six minutes into this video.

ryan palmeter

SheriffRyan Palmeter

ryan palmeter

SheriffRyan Palmeter

Screenshots from the video show the suspect heavily armed as he approached a victim’s car and walked into the Dollar General. The sheriff said the suspect let several white people out of the store unharmed but also said he let other people who aren’t white out too. It’s not clear why. He did not give any warning before shooting; he fired 11 rounds at victim Angela Carr’s vehicle. A reporter asked the sheriff whether Palmeter said, “If you don’t want to die, leave the store,” and the sheriff said authorities are looking into that.

ryan christopher palmeter

SheriffRyan Christopher Palmeter.

Ryan Palmeter’s immediately available social media accounts appeared sparse. Ryan Palmeter’s Facebook page appears to be deleted. He had a single post on Twitter in 2019 about attending a college. It contained this profile picture:

Ryan Palmeter

X (Ryan Palmeter)Ryan Palmeter

Another reporter posted a photo outside the suspect’s Clay County home, saying that police were there. Public records indicate that Palmeter was 21 and had an address in Orange Park, Florida, which is in Clay County. The sheriff confirmed the suspect was a white male in his early 20s from Clay County and called his ideology “sickening.”

Florida voter registration records list Palmeter as a Republican. The record says he registered to vote in 2017; it comes up under Ryan Christopher Palmeter, of Orange Park, whose date of birth is the same as the DOB given for the Dollar General gunman by the sheriff. Florida law allows people to pre-register to vote at age 16.

ryan palmeter republican

Screenshot/State of FloridaRyan Palmeter was a registered Republican, according to Florida voting records.

ryan palmeter

“Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people,” the sheriff said.

dollar general victims

Facebook Dollar General victims Jerrald Gallion and Angela Carr.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan told News4Jax that the suspect barricaded himself in the Dollar General store after committing the mass shooting.

“The shooter killed three people before turning the gun on himself,” Waters said in the August 26, 2023, news conference. The victims were named Angela Michelle Carr, 52; Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19; and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29.

The victims are two males and one female, Waters said. “All of the deceased victims are Black,” the sheriff said. According to Waters, the suspect was a “maniac who wanted to take lives. He targeted a certain group of people, Black people. That’s who he said he wanted to kill. That’s very clear.

Waters described the tragedy as a “mass shooting; it’s an active shooting.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a video interview that the suspect was a “scumbag” and was racially-motivated based on a manifesto he left behind, “targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable.” DeSantis said, “We condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms.” He said the suspect killed himself and “took the coward’s way out.”

President Joe Biden released a statement that said: “Jill and I are praying for the victims, their families, and the people of Jacksonville following yesterday’s shooting.

As we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Sheriff Says Ryan Palmeter Left Behind 3 Manifestos That Reveal ‘He Hated Black People’ & Texted His Father Before the Attack

jacksonville suspect

Jacksonville sheriffPhoto of the Jacksonville suspect’s weapons as released by law enforcement.

According to Waters, Ryan Palmeter, who lived with his parents in Clay County, headed to Jacksonville at 11:39 p.m.

At 1:18 p.m., the suspect texted his father and told him to check his computer, Waters said. At 1:53 p.m., the shooter’s family members called the Clay County Sheriff’s office, but the suspect had already started shooting in Jacksonville, he said. The delay was not explained.

The sheriff said that the suspect left behind three manifestos: One to his parents; another to the media; and a third to federal agents. He said the manifestos outlined the suspect’s “disgusting ideology of hate,” and made it clear that he was targeting Black people. “He wanted to kill n******,” the sheriff said, using a racial slur. He said he would only use it one time.

In the second news conference, the sheriff said Palmeter texted his father and told him to use a screwdriver to get into his room. The father found a last will and testament and suicide note, the sheriff said.

The sheriff did not name the suspect’s mother or father.

Maryann Palmeter, 62, comes up as living at the same Orange Park address as Ryan Palmeter in the Florida voting registration records. Her party is listed as Democrat. Maryann is tied in a family obituary, public records, and through Pinterest to Stephen Palmeter (Stephen Wayne Palmeter) or Steve Palmeter. The obituary lists them as husband and wife. On Pinterest, Maryann Palmeter has a board from last year devoted to ideas for her son Ryan’s 21st birthday and one devoted to her son Ryan’s graduation.

Maryann Palmeter is “Director, Physician Billing Compliance at University of Florida,” where she has worked for more than 31 years, according to her LinkedIn page. When she was honored in 2010 for her work, Maryann C. Palmeter discussed her family life to Coding Edge. It reads,

Palmeter said her supportive husband, Steve Palmeter, whom she met at the Blues, helps her achieve her goals. Palmeter said, ‘He has listened to many presentations many times over, he has held down the fort when I have proctored exams on Saturdays.’ Palmeter’s husband knows when her head is ready to erupt from government regulatory overload and ‘he conveys the message to the children to ‘stand clear’ without frightening them, and he ‘feeds and waters’ the kids” on those nights when she attends local chapter meetings or has to work late. She said, ‘Of course, our kids like this because they get to eat their favorite dish (my not-so-favor- ite), Tater Tot® casserole.

The page says Maryann Palmeter “started in our industry in 1982 with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. Her first job was as a Medicare Part B claims examiner” and praises her, noting Palmeter’s volunteer work helping flood victims in Nashville.

ryan palmeter mother maryann

Screenshot/State of FloridaMaryann Palmeter, Ryan Palmeter’s mother, is a registered Democrat, records show.

On Pinterest, Steve Palmeter uses the handle @jaxparrothead along with his real name. Maryann Palmeter follows that page. A page on X under the name of @jaxparrothead (which listed Orange Park as its hometown) was deleted shortly after the shooter’s name went public.


X (jaxparrothead)The profile picture from @jaxparrothead

Heavy has saved screenshots from that page, which expressed anti-Republican views. One post read, “I’ve had this mother/daughter MAGA idiots going crazy for 5 days now. They may be sisters, kinda hard to tell. The violent threats started on the 2nd day, so their a bit slow. I think I can keep them going for a full week.” It’s not clear who @jaxparrothead was talking about. The @jaxparrothead page also retweeted an anti-Trump tweet about the “Big Lie,” criticized Kyle Rittenhouse and Ted Cruz, and reposted a positive post about Jill Biden. He wrote in 2021, “License plate readers are being used to track the Trump traitors from 1-6.”


X (@Jaxparrothead)@jaxparrothead tweet


X (@jaxparrothead)@jaxparrothead post


X (jaxparrothead)@jaxparrothead post

In addition, a James Palmeter, 27, comes up in court records and other public records as having lived at the same address on Timbermill Lane as the suspect. He has a criminal history in Florida, having been accused of felony armed burglary (where authorities said guns were stolen from a home) and leaving a restaurant without paying. See the burglary reports here.

James Palmeter was accused of resisting an officer in another case in which the court records say he was accused of yelling at police, “f*** you b******. P**** a** cops. That’s why you get shot. I’ll beat your as*!” Ryan Palmeter had no arrest history, the sheriff said.

In an earlier video interview published by Actions News Jax, Deegan said, “there are a number of fatalities. We know that there is a white male that is barricaded inside the Dollar General from what we understand. That is all I know at this point.”

She added, “These mass shootings are really hard to take.”

The Clay County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a statement on Facebook,

We are aware of the incident in Jacksonville. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are currently working with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as they investigate the involvement of a Clay County resident in this heinous act. We know that one person’s actions are not a reflection of our community as a whole. Please join us in keeping the families of the victims in our prayers.

2. Ryan Palmeter, Who Described Himself on Twitter as Having a 3.5 GPA & Being Trained in Graphic Design Programs, Was Seen Putting on a Ballistics Vest on the Edward Waters University Campus, Reports Say

On Twitter, Ryan Palmeter described himself as: “Oakleaf High School attendee, 3.5 GPA, certified in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator CS6 and Adobe InDesign, drinks too many Arizona products.” Oakleaf High School is located in Orange Park, Florida.

In 2019, he wrote on Twitter, “Looking forward to a bright career in Business Administration! #FlaglerMakes” and shared a letter from Flagler College.

According to News4Jax, the suspect was spotted “on Edward Waters University’s (EWU) campus moments before gunfire erupted.”

Ryan Palmeter was seen behind the library putting on a ballistics vest, but campus security did not catch him, the television station reported, although the story did not name Palmeter. In the August 27, 2023, news conference, the sheriff confirmed that the suspect arrived behind the library and donned a bulletproof vest. A TikTok video captured him getting dressed, the sheriff said.

The sheriff said Palmeter was near people on campus and had the opportunity to commit violent acts there too but did not.

This video, which emerged on X, appears to match the scene described by the sheriff, who confirmed there was a TikTok video.

Security for the university pulled into the parking lot, but the suspect left the university, according to the sheriff. The security followed him out of the parking lot. Between that point and shots being fired at the Dollar General, the security flagged down an officer saying there was a suspicious person on campus. The officer was researching the vehicle and was writing a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) alert when the calls for the shooting started.

The suspect was caught on video in the parking lot shooting into a Kia in the parking lot and murdered the first victim, Carr, the sheriff said, adding that the suspect then walked into the Dollar General and shot and killed Laguerre as other shoppers ran. The sheriff said the suspect was seen entering a rear door, another shot went off, and the suspect went back inside the same door. He then shot at a security camera several times but missed, Waters said. The victim, Gallion, entered the store with his girlfriend and then shots were heard.

The suspect chased a witness through the store, shooting at her, but he didn’t strike her, Waters said. The suspect then shot out a rear door, the sheriff said. Palmeter then entered an office in the store.

According to the sheriff, the suspect “did put his vest on and a mask on and then went directly to Dollar General.” Waters said he did not know why the suspect was on campus, but he confirmed he was there.

The suspect was wearing gloves, a mask and a “tactical vest,” Action News Jax reported.

The university is a “historically Black private Christian school,” CNN reported.

A witness told News4Jax that the suspect fired at cars in the parking lot of the Dollar General before going inside the store.

3. The Suspect, Identified as Ryan Palmeter, Drew Swastikas on His Gun & Went Into the Store ‘Yelling,’ Reports Say

jacksonville suspect

Jacksonville SheriffJacksonville suspect’s rifle

Waters said the suspect was carrying a Glock and AR-15-style rifle. Authorities released photos of the weapons at a news conference. Two swastikas are scrawled on one of them, a fact the sheriff and mayor also confirmed. “This is a dark day in Jacksonville,” he said.

“It looks like he purchased those guns completely legally,” the sheriff said. In 2023, he purchased a gun from a pawn shop. Also in 2023, he purchased an AR-15 type rifle from a gun store, the sheriff said. The sheriff said there is no information that he ever worked at the store. One was Wild West Guns and the other was Orange Park Gun and Pawn, authorities said, but the sheriff said the dealers did everything they were legally supposed to do.

“The problem is the individual,” the sheriff said.

The suspect’s parents did not want the guns in his house, the sheriff said, adding that he believes the suspect may have legally purchased the guns but that’s still under investigation.

“I can’t say that he owned them, but his parents didn’t. His parents didn’t want them in the house,” said Waters.

The sheriff said the suspect “acted completely alone” and is not believed to be acting on behalf of any group.

Action News Jax said in a live broadcast that the suspect went into the store “yelling” and then started shooting.

4. The Suspect May Have Planned the Mass Shooting to Align With the Jacksonville Landing Mass Shooting Anniversary, the Mayor Says

The Dollar General mass shooting came five years to the day of another mass shooting in Jacksonville. Known as the Jacksonville Landing Shooting, in that instance a man, David Katz, opened fire at a video game tournament, killing two people and wounding 11, according to Jacksonville.com.

Jacksonville’s mayor said in the news conference that the 2023 suspect was aware of the Jacksonville Landing Shooting anniversary date and may have planned his mass shooting in “alignment” with that.

According to the Zinn Education Project, a racial attack called Ax Handle Saturday occurred on August 27, 1960, when “over 200 white rioters armed with baseball bats and ax handles chased, beat, and threatened Black residents in Jacksonville, Florida.” It’s not clear whether that bore any relevance to the shooter’s motivations, however.

5. The Suspect Had a Previous Domestic Call & Emergency Mental Health Detention, the Sheriff Says

The Sheriff said that there was a previous 2016 domestic call in Clay County involving the suspect, but it did not result in an arrest. He did not provide additional details but said in the later news conference that the call involved the suspect and his brother.

The suspect also was previously subjected to the Baker Act in 2017, Waters said. “The Baker Act is a Florida law that enables families and loved ones to provide emergency mental health services and temporary detention for people who are impaired because of their mental illness, and who are unable to determine their needs for treatment,” according to UF Health. He was only 15 at the time.

Edward Waters University released a statement on its Facebook page:

Earlier today, there was a fatal off-campus shooting on Kings Road near the EWU campus. Preliminary reports do not implicate the involvement of students, faculty, or staff. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is at the scene, and our campus police have secured all campus facilities. Students are being kept in their residence halls through the afternoon until the scene is cleared.

The EWU Tiger Alert system has been activated to notify the campus community and implement a campus-wide stay-in-place order. Further information and details will be forthcoming via EWU email, website, and social media as more information is received from local JSO law enforcement and campus security.

READ NEXT: Georgia Mom of 3 & Beauty Queen Accused of Plot to Murder Insurance Executive Husband