AT least 30 people have been killed with dozens more injured following two separate mass shooting attacks in the United States in less than 24 hours.
Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen injured in a shooting in a busy shopping centre in the Texas border town of El Paso.
Meanwhile police in the Dayton, Ohio say 10 people including one suspect were killed in a shooting early on Sunday, with 16 more taken to hospital. It is understood the incident took place in the city’s Oregon District.
Police investigating the earlier mass attack in El Paso have said among the possibilities being investigated is whether it was a hate crime.
Two law enforcement officials identified the suspect taken into custody as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of the Dallas area.
Police said another 26 people were injured, with most of the victims believed to have been shot at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall.
In a document posted online the writer expresses concern that an influx of Hispanics into the United States will replace ageing white voters, potentially turning Texas blue in upcoming elections and swinging the White House to the Democrats.
Although the writer denied he was a white supremacist, the document says “race mixing” is destroying the nation and recommends dividing the United States into territorial enclaves determined by race.
“It’s chaos right now,” said Austin Johnson, an Army medic at nearby Fort Bliss, who volunteered to help at the shopping centre and later at the school that was serving as a reunification centre.
The suspect, who used a rifle, was arrested without incident. Police believe he was the sole gunman but are continuing to investigate reports that others were involved.
The mass shooting in El Paso came less than a week after a gunman opened fire on a California food festival.
Nine people have been killed and at least 16 injured in a shooting early on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. Police said the suspect was shot and killed by responding officers.
The injured have been taken to the local Miami Valley hospital, spokeswoman Terrea Little said. She could not confirm their conditions.
This is the 21st mass killing in the United States in 2019, and the fifth public mass shooting. Before today, 96 people had died in mass killings in 2019 – 26 of them in public mass shootings.
The FBI was assisting with the investigation.
The Ohio shooting came hours after a young man allegedly opened fire in a crowded shopping area in El Paso, Texas, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
Matt Carper, of the Dayton police department, told the media the shooting had taken place “over a very short timeline” on the the city’s east 5th street.
“Currently we are working on identifying the suspect to see what the possible motivation might have been. We do not have that yet,” he said. “The suspect was firing a long gun with multiple rounds at the victims.
“We’re investigating the possibility of more people being involved. It looks like it might just be the one person.”
Carper said there had been police officers on patrol in the area when the shooting started. “We are very fortunate that the officers were in close proximity and that they reacted in the way that they did,” he said.
“As bad as this is, it could have been much, much worse as I think everyone will become aware of here as more information unfolds. So we’re very appreciative of the officers who were on scene and the action that they took.”
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.
Sources: independent.ie & theguardian.com