14 | NOV | 2019
Mexico and the United States mourn El Paso shooting
A cross for each of the victims waits to be taken to a growing memorial site two days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. - Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/REUTERS

Mexico and the United States mourn El Paso shooting

05/08/2019
14:54
Reuters
El Paso
Julio-Cesar Chavez
-A +A
A man opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others as panicked shoppers and employees scurried for cover before the gunman surrendered to police

A man armed with a rifle opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others as panicked shoppers and employees scurried for cover before the gunman surrendered to police at the scene.

Many shoppers in the busy store were buying back-to-school supplies when they found themselves caught up in the latest mass shooting to rock the United States, just six days after a teenage gunman killed three people at a summer food festival in Northern California.

Saturday’s suspect was officially identified as a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb some 650 miles (1,046 km) east of El Paso, which lies along the Rio Grande, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juárez.

Citing law enforcement officials, multiple news media reports named the suspect as Patrick Crusius.

El Paso police chief Greg Allen said authorities were examining a manifesto from the suspect indicating “there is a potential nexus to a hate crime.” Officials declined to elaborate and said the investigation was continuing.

But a four-page statement posted on 8chan, an online message board often used by extremists, and believed to have been authored by the suspect, called the Walmart attacka response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

It also expressed for support for the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
 

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CNN reported that the FBI has opened a domestic terror investigation into the Texas shooting.

El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, together with the neighboring city of Las Cruces, New Mexico, form a metropolitan border area of some 2.5 million residents constituting the largest bilingual, bi-national population in North America.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said three Mexican nationals were among the dead, and six others were among the wounded. “This incident is very unfortunate. I know El Paso, Texas. I know that’s a very peaceful place, among the least violent cities in the United States,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

He added that the city sits directly across the border from Ciudad Juárez, a major gathering point for migrants aiming to cross into the United States. “There is a fraternal coexistence between those who live in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso,” he said.

“The modern world can’t allow such acts of XENOPHOBIC BARBARISM, which don’t happen in a vacuum. CEASE completely the RHETORIC that incites them,” Jesus Seade, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, wrote on Sunday.

At least eight Mexicans are among the people who were killed, said Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Monday.

The carnage ranked as the eighth-deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, after a 1984 shooting in San Ysidro, California, that claimed 21 lives.

“We are going to aggressively prosecute it both as capital murder but also as a hate crime, which is exactly what it appears to be,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters, adding, “I don’t want to get ahead of the evidence.”

Details of how the shooting unfolded were not immediately clear. But video footage from the scene showed victims lying on the ground inside and outside the store.

The suspect surrendered to police as officers closed in on him, and he was taken into custody without incident, authorities said. Video posted on social media appeared to show him being handcuffed by police and placed in a squad car.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said police responded to the shooting within six minutes.

On Twitter, U.S. President Donald Trump branded the shooting “an act of cowardice,” adding, “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”

About half of the injured, including at least two children, were initially taken to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where a number of the victims remained in surgery hours later, hospital spokesman Ryan Mielke said.

Officers from several law enforcement agencies raced to the scene at the Walmart and nearby Cielo Vista Mall, including local police, state troopers, Homeland Security agents and border patrol.

In the shooting’s aftermath, Walmart and adjacent businesses, including the mall and a movie theater, were closed as police conducted an initial search for additional possible suspects. Authorities later said the gunman had acted alone.

 

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