A gunman who targeted cars on a Georgia highway on Friday, injuring three people, “idolized” the suspected shooter in the massacre in Parkland, Florida, according to police.
Rex Whitmire Harbour, 26, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after carrying out a sniper-style attack on motorists driving along a state highway in Gainesville, Georgia, Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch told reporters on Saturday.
Investigators searched Harbour’s home in Snellville, Georgia, and discovered a manifesto in which he stated his admiration for Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who Florida police say confessed to fatally shooting 17 people on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to Couch.
“We found handwritten documents written by Mr. Harbour and they were very disturbing,” Couch said. “He indicated that he idolized the mass shooter in the Parkland, Florida, shooting. ... He called Nikolas Cruz a ‘hero’ and that Cruz gave him ‘courage and confidence.’”
“The remainder of the documents that I saw are very hate-filled in that regard,” he continued. “It appeared that he was targeting all Americans. Why? That I don’t know.”
Harbour used a handgun to fire at least 17 bullets from a wooded area along Georgia 365, roughly 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, shortly before noon on Friday before turning the gun on himself, according to police.
At least seven vehicles were shot, Couch said. Three people were injured in the attack, including two people who sustained gunshot wounds and another person who suffered minor injuries when a bullet shattered the windshield of her car. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
While searching Harbour’s car, investigators found three handguns, a bolt-action rifle, a shotgun, a BB gun and “a lot of ammunition,” Couch said.
Police determined Harbour had no previous record of engaging in violent activities and his social media accounts suggested no affiliation with any “violent groups.”