Two mass shootings just hours apart in two U.S. states have left at least 27 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 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, Ohio. Nine people were killed and 16 were 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 Saturday evening that six Mexicans, including a 10-year-old girl, were among those wounded in the El Paso shooting. The shopping complex at which the attack took place is known to be popular with Mexican tourists who come to shop before returning to their home country.
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 were killed and 2,040 wounded in the 2019 attacks