Texas Police Seek Clues to Explain Walmart Shooting that Killed 20

Police and FBI investigators in Texas searched for clues on Sunday to explain what drove a young gunman from the Dallas area to kill 20 people at a Walmart store hundreds of miles away in the border city of El Paso.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday morning’s rampage appeared to be a hate crime, and police cited a “manifesto” they attributed to the suspect as evidence that the bloodshed was racially motivated.

The shooting immediately reverberated on the U.S. presidential campaign trail, with several Democratic candidates denouncing the rise of gun violence and repeating calls for tighter gun control measures.

At least two candidates, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, drew connections to a resurgence in white nationalism and xenophobic politics in the United States.

“America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism,” Buttigieg said at a candidates forum in Las Vegas.

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.”

Police said the suspect opened fire with a rifle on shoppers, many of them bargain-hunting for back-to-school supplies, then surrendered to officers who confronted him outside the store.

The massacre came just six days after the last major outbreak of U.S. gun violence in a public place – a food festival in California where a teenager killed three people with an assault rifle and injured a dozen others before taking his own life in a hail of police gunfire.

The Texas killings were followed just 13 hours later by another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman in body armor killed nine people and wounded 26 others early on Sunday in the city’s downtown historic district before he was shot dead by police.

Police said the suspect in Saturday’s shooting was 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 Juarez.

Multiple news media outlets, citing law enforcement officials, named the accused assailant as Patrick Crusius.

In a briefing for reporters on Saturday night, some 12 hours after the shooting, an El Paso police spokesman, Sergeant Robert Gomez, said police were interviewing the suspect, while investigators continued to collect evidence at the crime scene.

SIGNS OF HATE

Several local politicians said the gunman was an outsider, suggesting he had traveled hundreds of miles from the Dallas area to commit mass murder. But Gomez declined to say how long the suspect might have been in El Paso before the shooting.

Authorities did not offer a precise motive. However, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said investigators were examining a “manifesto” from the suspect indicating “there is a potential nexus to a hate crime.”

A four-page statement posted on 8chan, an online message board often used by extremists, and believed to have been written by the suspect, called the Walmart attack “a 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.

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

“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 Abbott told reporters.

El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, 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 20 people killed in the shooting, and six others were among 26 victims who were wounded.

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.

Gomez said investigators were still determining the sequence of events. But video clips from the scene showed victims lying on the ground inside and outside the store. One shopper told Reuters the gunshots sounded like they began outside the building and then moved inside.

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

Local television station KTSM-TV published two photos it cited a law enforcement source as saying were security-camera images of the suspect as he entered the Walmart, wearing eyeglasses, khaki trousers and a dark T-shirt, and wielding an assault-style rifle. He appeared to be wearing headphones or ear protection.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of pandemonium as shoppers fled for their lives, including Kianna Long who was at the Walmart with her husband when they heard gunfire.

The couple sprinted through a stock room at the back of the store before huddling with other customers in a shipping area, she recounted.

“People were panicking and running,” Long said. “They were running close to the floor, people were dropping on the floor.”

(Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez in El Paso; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, Tim Reid in Las Vegas and Daniel Wallis in New York; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Jane Merriman)

Responses

  1. This guy was 100% clear as to what his motivation was. He’s even alive to talk about it which, clearly, is what he now wants to do. Want an explanation- ask the perp, he’s anxious to tell. His “manifesto” explains what his motivation was but, of course, his actions do not actually come as the result of his motives.
    He is psychopathically deranged which makes his manifesto not an explanation but an excuse. His actions do not follow from his excuse.
    Meanwhile the media focus is on El Paso because the Dayton shooter is a demokrap and a lizzieborden supporter.

  2. These crazies always target gun free zones. That way they can take more people down. Instead of blaming Trump, which they are already, blame the true race baiters for this massacre. The Democrats continue to tear our country apart!!!!!

  3. Being Texas, I’m very surprised that the Wal-Mart is a gun free zone! If they were not, it is likely fewer people would have died!

  4. >Patti Harrison<

    Yes, there was an Army Specialist Glendon Oakley who had his LEGAL weapon with him and is being credited with saving a "lot" of children when one young boy ran up to him and said there was an active shooter in the store. [Per story on "We the People" website.]

  5. Is knowing the reason for the shooting for prevention of future shootings? It won’t bring back the dead and it won’t speed the healing of the wounded.

  6. Knowing Texas as I do, why was there not anyone who had a gun with them, as they could have stopped this carnage earlier!

    1. 70 million Americans and over 300 firearms between them. And yet none of these so called good guys with guns are able to stop these things.

      Because people arent trained to respond to this kind of thing. Having a firearm doesnt make you safer. It just makes you feel like a big man lol

    2. Not only that, but a store full of people, and nobody could just jump the guy? Somebody had to be behind him.

    1. Yes, but the insanity begins with the lunatics in Congress and the voters who keep electing characters like Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, Schiff, Feinstein, & the new comers SQUAD who make such stupid remarks as “the poor have no choice but to riot”, openly express support of domestic & foreign terrorists & are known to associate with anti America & anti Americans!’
      Failure to prosecute reverse hate crimes as THE HATE CRIMES THEY ARE also doesn’t help the situation any. All hate crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest even when they are reverse hate crime hoaxes – as they are usually aimed at multiple groups of people instead of one individual – as was true in Juss Smollett’s reverse hate crime.

  7. Ear protection? He didn’t want to die deaf? Want to be he is a loner, white guy, hates minorities, and was still a virgin?

    1. In his ‘manifesto’ he says he plans on dying. He obviously changed his mind somewhere along the the line, made sure that he would retain his hearing, and gave up rather than be shot dead.
      Now he can try to “explain” his actions which is clearly what he wants to do.

    2. Meanwhile the Dayton slaughter had the police shooting the killer dead in less than a minute.
      The shooter was a demokrap, a Trump hater and a lizard-war-on supporter. That is why it will get close to zero coverage.
      It doesn’t fit the agenda.

  8. Took the police six minutes to respond? Since this was in Texas, wasn’t there ANYONE in the store with a legally concealed handgun or carrying one openly who COULD have prevented at least some of these unnecessary murders?

    THIS massacre once again PROVES that “When SECONDS count, the police are MINUTES away”. MORE legally owned guns equals LESS crime; a proven fact. [I carry mine EVERY time I leave my residence. Too many crazies on the loose.]

    1. This being Texas and at a Walmart, I’m sure it will come out that there were several people armed and licensed who were present. If I were shopping for school supplies, I’d likely be with my kids. If someone came in shooting while I was there, my priority would be to get my family and anyone else I could help someplace secure. I’m sure it was pandemonium in there.

      1. Agree, Ed. Secondary would be taking out the shooter(s) by any means possible. .

    2. What % have a CCW and who carry all the time? Want to bet it is less than 10%? And it was a big mall, so little chance that even one carrier was nearby. One person said he was carrying, but thought he would save some children before heading towards the shooting he heard.

  9. There is no explanation for such evil.

    I thank the Lord for those men and women who encounter it daily and willingly guard and fight against it so that the majority need not be touched.

  10. May those taken enjoy eternal peace and safety above. I sincerely hope this young “thing” (the title of “human” is too good) rots for eternity in this life and later in the afterlife.

    I pray the survivors make full recoveries, physical and mental, as they begin the grueling process of moving forward with life.

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