In 24 hours of gun violence in the US, at least 29 individuals were murdered and dozens injured in two distinct mass shootings, prompting soul searching and bitter political recriminations.
At least 29 individuals were murdered and dozens injured in two distinct mass shootings in 24 hours of U.S. gun violence that caused soul searching and bitter political recriminations. The deadliest incident is being treated as domestic terrorism and potential hate crime against Hispanics in El Paso, Texas, leading three Democratic presidential candidates — Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Julián Castro — to accuse the president of promoting “white nationalism.” The Mexican government responded with indignation, denouncing “racist discourse” in the United States and threatening to prosecute the suspect.
The recent shooting took place early Sunday morning when a guy wearing body armor murdered nine individuals who opened fire with an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine in a Dayton, Ohio entertainment area. Officials identified the murderer as 24-year-old Connor Betts, who was shot dead by police, and said his sister was among his victims.
That arrived less than 24 hours after the attack on Saturday at a crowded shopping mall in El Paso, a predominantly Hispanic Texan town near the U.S. border with Mexico, killing at least 20 individuals and injuring 26 others.
The gunman was recognized by Texas court papers as Patrick Crusius, a white man from Allen, Texas, 21 years old. At a Walmart shop and elsewhere at the Cielo Vista Mall, one of El Paso’s biggest malls, the shooting took place.
The murders could be a future hate crime after police officers uncovered “a manifesto” related to the suspect, said Greg Allen, chief of El Paso police. The anti-immigrant manifesto published on social media referred to the “Hispanic Texas Invasion” and expressed compassion for the mass murderer Christchurch, who assassinated 51 people in New Zealand.
The paper stated that foreigners were replacing white people. The suspect, who comes from a Dallas suburb more than 650 miles from El Paso, is facing several charges of capital killing. Prosecutors said the incident was treated as domestic terrorism and will seek the death penalty.
“We’re going to do what we’re doing to terrorists in this nation, delivering quick and certain justice,” said John Bash, U.S. lawyer for Texas ‘ western district. Mr. O’Rourke, who stopped his presidential campaign to return to his hometown of El Paso, accused President Donald Trump in an interview of being a white nationalist who encouraged racial hate. “I have a duty to call that out, to make sure that the American people know what the individual who holds the greatest public trust place in this territory is doing in their name,” he said.
In the aftermath of what seemed to be Hispanics ‘ intentional targeting, Mexico vowed to take legal action to safeguard its U.S. citizens. “We think this was a terrorist act against the Mexican-American community and Mexicans in the U.S.,” foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard told reporters. The attack murdered six Mexicans and severely injured at least seven, he said.
Mr. Trump said on Sunday, in honor of the shooting victims, he had ordered the lowering of flags to half-staff at all federal structures. Asked by journalists what could be done about gun crime, Mr. Trump said his administration had already accomplished more than most, but “maybe more needs to be done.”
A third Democrat presidential candidate, Mr. Castro, said “division and bigotry” had shaped the political strategy of Mr. Trump since he launched his 2015 presidential campaign.