(August 4, 2019 / JNS) Two mass shootings just hours apart in two U.S. states have left 29 people dead and dozens wounded, shattering the communities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
In the first incident, a man wielding an assault-style rifle entered a busy Walmart in the Texan border town of El Paso at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, killing 20 people (two more people died of their injuries on Monday, making the total 22) and injuring dozens before being apprehended by police.
The suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old from the Dallas suburb of Allen, is believed to have posted a manifesto railing against the “Hispanic invasion of Texas” prior to the incident, and expressing sympathy for the man charged with gunning down 51 Muslim worshippers in March at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Just hours later, at around 1 a.m., police received reports of a mass shooting outside a bar in Dayton. Nine people were killed, including the shooter’s own sister, and 16 injured in the attack. The shooter was killed by police. FBI investigators are looking into the motive for the crime.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted on Saturday evening that six Mexicans, including a 10-year-old girl, were among those wounded in the El Paso shooting. The shopping complex where the attack took place is known to be popular with Mexican tourists who come to buy goods before returning to their home country.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would “pledge total support of Federal Government” to Texan authorities, and that the attack “was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today’s hateful act.”
The El Paso attack was the 250th mass shooting in the United States in 2019, according to not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive. Including the El Paso shooting, 522 people have been killed and 2,040 wounded in attacks so far this year.