Two mass shootings in 24 hours kill 30 in US

Updated: Aug 05, 2019, 08:07 IST | Agencies

Hours after 21-year-old gunman opens fire at crowded Walmart in border town of El Paso, man kills nine before being shot dead by police in Oregon

Two mass shootings in 24 hours kill 30 in US
Residents Erica Rios and Alma Rios, cry outside a reunification centre at MacArthur Elementary School, following the shooting in El Paso

Washington/Houston: Two separate mass shootings within 24 hours left 30 people dead and several others injured in the US states of Texas and Ohio, including one thought to be a hate crime.

The first shooting took place in the southern border town of El Paso in Texas, where a 21-year-old gunman opened fire at a crowded Walmart store, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others on Saturday. Hours later, a man killed nine people before being shot dead by police in Oregon district, a historic neighbourhood in Dayton, Ohio early Sunday, police said.

"The shooter is deceased. There are 9 others also deceased. At least 16 others went to area hospitals with injuries" Dayton police said. At least 26 others were injured, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

The first shooting that tore through a Walmart jammed with back-to-school shoppers in El Paso on Saturday marked another bleak milestone in a nation pocked by gun violence: it was the 250th mass shooting of 2019. And the rampage notched an even darker statistic: It occurred on the 215th day of the year, meaning there have been more mass shootings than days so far this year. Texas authorities are investigating the El Paso shooting as a possible hate crime.

CCTV images showing the El Paso gunman who has been identified as Patrick Crusius. Pics/AFP

The authorities identified the El Paso gunman as Patrick Crusius from an affluent Dallas suburb. He was taken into custody after he surrendered to the police outside the Walmart store. The authorities said they were investigating a manifesto Crusius, who is white, may have posted before the shooting, which described an attack in response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas."

Citing a source familiar with the investigative process, the CNN said the FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the shooting to be worked concurrent to the state investigation, with Texas authorities taking the lead.

Act of cowardice, says Trump

US President Donald Trump condemned mass shooting in Texas, by tweeting, "Today's shooting in El Paso, Texas 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. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people." "God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio" he said.

'Donald Trump responsible'

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Saturday claimed that Trump is responsible for the
El Paso shooting. "Yes. We've had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years. During an administration where you've had the president call Mexicans rapists and criminals" The Hill quoted O'Rourke as saying when asked if Trump is responsible for the shooting. "He is a racist, and he stokes racism in this country" he said.

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