More Details Emerge on EWU Security Officer’s Encounter with Dollar General Mass Shooter
EWU Lt. Antonio Bailey and the students who noticed the suspicious activity of the Dollar General gunman are being lauded for preventing further tragedy.
Jacksonville, Florida – More information is coming to light on what happened at Edward Waters University (EWU) before Saturday’s racially motivated mass shooting at Dollar General.
Only minutes before a 21-year-old male, described as a “White supremacist” fatally shot three Black shoppers at a Dollar General store, a group of EWU students saw the gunman in their campus parking lot, reports News4Jax. The students noticed the man was wearing a bulletproof vest, gloves, and a mask, so they immediately notified EWU Public Safety Officer Antonio Bailey, reports NBC News.
Bailey, who was making his normal rounds on campus, immediately responded. He walked up to the gunman’s car, but when he got close, the man quickly drove away, jumping a curb and almost hitting a column in the parking lot.
Bailey then got in his patrol vehicle and followed the shooter as far as he was allowed to. He then flagged down a Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputy, giving the officer a description of the man and the license plate of the shooter’s vehicle.
Only 2 minutes after the shooter left EWU’s campus, he arrived at the Dollar General down the street and shot his first victim, reports First Coast News.
“It’s not by happenstance, it’s not on a whim that [the gunman] chose to come to Florida’s first historically Black college and university,” he said.
Faison also lauded Bailey, as well as the students who noticed the would-be gunman’s suspicious behavior, for preventing the mass shooting from happening on campus.
Bailey, however, rejected the “hero” label and praised the students who noticed something was wrong and immediately told him about their concerns.
In response to the incident, Governor Ron DeSantis vehemently condemned the attack and announced an initial, immediate award of $1 million through the Volunteer Florida Foundation to bolster campus security at Edward Waters University in addition to an award of $100,000 to help the impacted families of this tragedy.
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