JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The white gunman who opened fire at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville on Saturday stole the lives of three Black people who were simply going about their daily routines.
Authorities have identified the victims as 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr; 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre Jr.; and 29-year-old Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion. Dollar General has confirmed that Laguerre was an employee at the store.
Angela Michelle Carr, 52
Carr, an Uber driver, was dropping off a passenger at the Dollar General on Saturday when the gunman opened fire, killing her inside her vehicle, according to her daughter.
“She wasn’t meant to go that fast. She wasn’t even supposed to be there,” said Ashley Carr, 36. “She was shot in her car. She never even had a chance.”
Ashley Carr, who spoke by phone with NBC News on Monday, sobbed as she remembered her mother as a “hard-working” and “dedicated” woman.
“She was a great woman, and she’s been taken,” Carr said. “I hope her spirit is at rest.”
Ashley Carr said she knows that the family of the gunman, who killed himself at the scene, feels “grief as well.” She said she is praying for them.
Anolt Joseph “A.J.” Laguerre Jr., 19
Anolt Laguerre Sr., who spoke to NBC News via Zoom, remembered his son as a “very bright” young man who had recently graduated from high school.
“He hadn’t even lived his life yet,” Laguerre Sr. said, “and for somebody to take his life away, it’s outrageous … because you don’t like the color of his skin.”
Laguerre Sr. said his son had started working at the Dollar General to make some “change in his pocket.”
“The only thing … he likes in life is to work,” Laguerre Sr. said. “He doesn’t ask nobody for nothing.”
Laguerre Sr. expressed dismay over the brutal realities of racism in the United States, saying “Florida seems like it’s worse than anywhere else.”
“I should not have to bury my son,” he said. “He’s too young for that. He’s just trying to live.”
Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29
Tyesha Jones, the mother of Gallion’s daughter, described him as a devoted father and co-parent. Gallion and Jones were no longer romantic partners, but they remained close.
“He was my best friend,” Jones told NBC News at a vigil on Sunday. “He was my daughter’s best friend. He got her every weekend. He was the best daddy ever.”
Jones’ mother, Sabrina Rozier, adored Gallion, too, praising him as a “very loving, caring father” to her grandchild.
“From the time my daughter got pregnant ’til yesterday, Jerrald never missed a beat,” Rozier said at the vigil. She said that Gallion had planned to spend Saturday with his daughter.
“We’re still trying to find the words to tell her that her daddy is gone. I don’t have the words to tell her, to break her heart. … This man saw fit to break my granddaughter’s heart and take her daddy away,” Rozier said, referring to the gunman.
Rozier added that she was already close with Gallion’s family before the fatal shooting, “but this is just going to bring us closer.”
Minyvonne Burke and Gabe Gutierrez reported from Jacksonville, Daniel Arkin from New York, and Richard Adams from Los Angeles.