EL PASO, Texas – Over this past weekend, the United States experienced two deadly mass shootings, bringing the total mass shootings this year to 251.
The shootings happened on Saturday, August 3 and in the early hours of Sunday, August 4, 2019, in Texas and Ohio. Over the past week from July 28 to August 4, there have been a total of three deadly mass shootings in three different states. The United States has experienced at least 15 deadly mass shootings since the beginning of 2019.
Just last week Sunday, July 28, at least three, including two children, were killed, and 15 others injured when a 19-year-old male shooter went rampant at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California. One suspected shooter was killed by police. Authorities are still investigating whether there was a second shooter.
The First Mass Shooting in Texas
The first deadly mass shooting of the weekend took place on Saturday, August 3 at about 10:30 AM, when a gunman opened fire at the Cielo Vista Mall, one of the largest malls in El Paso, Texas. At least 20 people were killed and 26 others were injured as the shooter attacked the Walmart store at the mall.
The shooter has been identified as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a suburban city over 600 miles away from El Paso.
The city of El Paso is in close proximity to the Del Rio Border Patrol Station and the US/Mexico border in Texas. President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador informed the public that of the dozens of fatalities and injuries, three Mexican nationals were killed and seven were injured. CNN reported that several Mexicans were refusing to get treatment at the local hospitals and health centers because of their immigration status.
The Second Mass Shooting in Ohio
The second mass shooting took place some 14 hours later in Dayton, Ohio. At about 1 am in the Dayton’s Oregon District, a popular commercial district in the city’s downtown area, police were called following reports of gunshots.
The shooter, 24-year-old white male Connor Betts, was carrying a .223-caliber rifle and additional high-capacity magazines. He opened fire, killing nine people, including his 22-year-old sister Megan Betts and her boyfriend, and injured 26 others.
The police say that the suspected shooter was shot and killed by police officers within a minute of opening fire in the open area. There is only one known shooter at this time.
Terrorism and Racist-Filled Motives
While the shooter of Ohio’s mass shooting was killed by police, the 21-year-old shooter of the El Paso mass shooting was taken into police custody and now faces several capital murder charges.
In a press conference, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting a “hate crime” as the FBI began a domestic terrorism investigation into the massacre.
The Chief of Police in El Paso, Greg Allen said that officers uncovered a four-paged “manifesto” possibly linked to the suspect that exposed white nationalism and racist language towards Hispanic immigrants.
In the manifesto, that was posted on the extremist online forum 8chan just 20 minutes before the shooting, the shooter writes: “They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.” The document also expresses support for the racist shooter of the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand in March, in which 51 people were killed.
On Sunday, August 4, President Donald Trump gave an update on the investigations, tweeting “The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be learned in El Paso. Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances.”