Authorities believe the victims in the El Paso mass shooting were targeted. The gunman in the Texas attack is described as a white nationalist.
CGTN’s Dan Williams reports from El Paso where the death toll has risen to 22.
There is a slogan here… ‘El Paso strong.’ The saying has been used in this city for years. But events at the weekend have seriously challenged that. El Paso is a city, a community… united in grief.
The death toll following the mass shooting at the weekend continues to grow.
This is now the scene of one of America’s worst mass shootings.
Although, El Paso-born Beto O’Rourke – candidate to become the Democratic party’s presidential nominee – says the community remains strong. “We are not afraid. We are strong. We are confident. We are hopeful. We are courageous. And that’s El Paso.”
Among those who witnessed the attack was Jimmy Villatoro. “It was crazy. There was just bodies, people running out of the store. There was deceased bodies on the floor. It was horrendous.”
El Paso is ranked as one of the 10 safest cities in America. It is now asking itself why it was targeted with such hate.
Police are continuing to probe what led 21-year-old suspect Patrick Crusius to drive more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from a suburb of Dallas to El Paso to carry out this attack.
Authorities are investigating a ‘white nationalist’ manifesto posted on a far-right message board.
Believed to be written by the suspect, the document detailed his hatred for immigrants, saying the attack was in response, for what he describes was ‘a Hispanic invasion of Texas’.
O’Rourke is among those who feel President Trump shoulders some of the responsibility. O’Rourke says Trump has repeatedly targeted the Mexican community at his rallies. “Everyone regardless of their party affiliation, regardless of any difference must put this country first and call the President out for what he is doing and make sure that we end this.”
It has been a deadly weekend across America. A weekend that, once again, appears to have exposed this nation’s toxic racial divide.