JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The grandmother of one of the three people gunned down in the deadly hate crime attack in Jacksonville’s New Town area spoke with News4JAX.
“This was a tragedy that never should have happened,” Eva Mobley said as she sat on a front porch in Nashville. “When is it going to stop? When is the hatred going to stop?”
Three people were killed in a racially motivated attack at a Dollar General store in New Town. One of them was AJ Laguerre.
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“He was a gentle giant,” Mobley said. “AJ was real quiet, but he was also loved by his family.”
Laguerre had just graduated high school. His uncle said he had dreams of becoming a professional video game streamer.
“Gaming was what really brought all the brothers and stuff together,” Arthur Buckley said.
With an assault-style rifle that was emblazoned with swastikas, police said the shooter left behind several racist writings before carrying out the attack, and then killing himself.
“We got to wake up. We are all different skin colors but we love alike, we put our pants on the same way, we eat the same way.”
Laguerre’s family wants answers that aren’t easy to come by.
“When are we going to put the hatred aside and become a family and love each other? It doesn’t make sense to me.”
But now, as they plan a memorial service, they say there’s one question that lingers in their minds more than any other.
“Who knows what they took out of this world, what AJ could have been had he been given a chance... We will never know.”
A local artist is paying tribute to AJ Laguerre, Angela Carr and Jerrald Gallion.
The artist painted three portraits of them and left them at a memorial site near the Dollar General.
We’ve also heard from Gallion’s family who said they need help paying for his funeral. Here is the GoFundMe set up by the family.