“I mean it is scary because one of my siblings could have been there,” Douglas said.

AP Photo/Steven Senne
  • Demario Douglas Patriots rookie numbers

    Patriots rookies given updated jersey numbers ahead of regular season

  • Ezekiel Elliott said he’s ‘feeling more comfortable’ with learning Patriots’ playbook

A gunman walked into a Dollar General and shot three people dead before killing himself in Jacksonville, Florida last week.

The shooting took place in New Town, a predominately black neighborhood in Jacksonville. It is near Edward Waters College, which is an historically black school.

Race was a factor in the killings, authorities said. The Associated Press reports that the shooter’s weapon had a swastika on it. CNN reports that the shooter left writings to his parents detailing his “disgusting ideology of hate.”

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

Patriots receiver Demario Douglas is a black man from Jacksonville. The news hit home for the rookie, who is preparing for his first NFL regular-season game.

“Things like this when it happens, it’s like, man, it could have been …. I pray every night that my family is protected and that God keeps his hand over my family,” Douglas said, according to MassLive. “I mean it is scary because one of my siblings could have been there. But it’s still scary. I pray for those families.”

Douglas starred at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville before playing college football at Liberty. He said giving back to the city is one of his goals as he chases his NFL dream.

“I already started doing things for Christmas for the kids,” said Douglas.“That’s my goal. … Once I get enough money where I can put my hands into everything, I want to make the city better. I just want, I want the kids to be raised to the right standard. Once I get money, I’m definitely going to help out the city. I’m gonna make sure things are going the right way.”