The gunfire that tore through a Walmart jammed with back-to-school shoppers on Saturday marked another bleak milestone in a nation terrorized by gun violence: the 250th mass shooting of 2019.
What We Know:
- A gunman opened fire Saturday in a Walmart and around a nearby shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, leaving 20 people dead and 26 injured, law enforcement officials said.
- Gov. Greg Abbott called it “one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.”
“Twenty innocent people from El Paso have lost their lives,” he said.
- Authorities appealed for urgent blood donations for the wounded.
- Law enforcement sources say police identified the suspect as Patrick Crusius, 21, from the Dallas area. Sgt. Robert Gomez of the El Paso Police Department said no shots were fired by law enforcement. One suspect was in custody.
- Multiple senior law enforcement officials believe Crusius posted a screed online just prior to the attack. They say investigators are examining a posting they suspect is from him but that they have not officially confirmed it. The sources said it was too soon to draw any motives from the posting. It appears the document, with no mention of the location of the attack, was posted on an extremist website at 10:12 a.m. Saturday, El Paso time, according to law enforcement sources. Police say the first 911 call alerting them to the shooting at the Walmart was made 27 minutes later ― not enough time to act.
- The FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office, Emmerson Buie, said it was too early to determine if this was indeed a hate crime and that the investigation into a motive continued.
“We’re reviewing all the evidence,” Buie said.
This story is developing and will be updated at BNA.