Gunman opens fire in El Paso, Texas superstore; more than 20 dead
Thursday, August 8, 2019
On Saturday morning, a gunman shot shoppers at a Walmart store in the U.S. border city of El Paso, Texas, with the death toll rising to 22 people on Monday, reported officials, with 25 others injured. Police said the suspected gunman surrendered himself to police after being confronted by officers. The shooting began at 10:39 a.m. local time (1639 ), according to police, who said officers arrived at the Walmart six minutes later.
State prosecutors charged the suspect in the shooting with capital murder, they said Sunday — murder carrying the possibility of the.
Federal authorities are investigating the shooting as, according to prosecutor Josh Bash, the for the Western District of Texas. Bash characterized the attack as "designed to intimidate a civilian population, to say the least."
"We are treating it as a domestic terrorism case, and we're going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice," said Bash. Charges of domestic terrorism also carry a possible death penalty at the federal level.
According to Mexican President , six Mexican nationals were killed in the attack, and seven more were injured. Another report from the Mexican government during the weekend said eight Mexicans died in the attack. Mexico's Foreign Secretary said the Mexican government would pressure the U.S. government to provide better protections for Mexicans in the United States.
The foreign minister said Mexico would consider charging the gunman with terrorism against Mexicans and would seek to extradite the gunman to face charges in Mexico. Ebrard said, "As far as I know, this would be the first case of this type in history", adding, "For Mexico, this individual is a terrorist".
U.S. officials identified the suspect as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of, Texas, near the city of .
According to the El Paso mayor,, during the weekend, police were investigating whether a manifesto posted online to the message board was written by the suspect. In the document, the writer supposes a "cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion" of Hispanic people into the United States.
According to U.S. Attorney Bash, the manifesto if written by the suspect could strengthen the federal government's case: "The key factor here is that it appears to be an intent to coerce or intimidate a civilian population[...] That's met here."
El Paso's police chief Greg Allen said late Sunday the police were attributing authorship of the document to Crusius.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, the shooting followed four deadly mass shootings in the United States that week, including one in California at a garlic festival in , killing three, and another in , Wisconsin where at least five died. The El Paso shooting preceded another one less than thirteen hours later in , Ohio where ten people died. The archive characterizes events where four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire, other than the perpetrator, as a mass shooting.
- Alan Gomez. "Death toll rises to 22 as El Paso struggles to recover from mass shooting" — , August 5, 2019
- "Mass shootings in 2019" — , August 5, 2019 (date of access)
- "Texas Walmart shooting: El Paso attack 'domestic terrorism'" — , August 5, 2019
- Daniel Aguilar. "Mexico vows to take legal action against U.S. after El Paso massacre" — , August 4, 2019
- Vanessa Romo. "State Officials Will Pursue Death Penalty Against Suspected El Paso Gunman" — , August 4, 2019
- Mary Beth Sheridan. "López Obrador says seven Mexicans among the dead in El Paso, plans legal action to protect Mexicans in the U.S." — , August 4, 2019
- Cedar Attansio, Michael Balsamo, and Diana Heidgerd. "20 killed, 26 wounded when gunman attacks Texas shoppers" — , August 3, 2019