Shooting in El Paso Walmart Leaves 22 Dead


USA Today

The city of El Paso, TX, mourns the victims of the latest mass shooting, which claimed 22 lived and injured two dozen more.

Javier Casanas, Staff writer

On Aug. 4 in El Paso, Texas, 21-year old white supremacist Patrick Crusius entered a Walmart with an AK-47 and opened fire on the shoppers, targeting the local Hispanic population.

At least 22 deaths have been reported as a result of the massacre, along with dozens of injured. Of the the 22 people killed, 13 were United States citizens, seven were Mexican nationals, one was German, and one person was undetermined.

Police say that hours before the shooting occurred, Crusius posted a four page document of a racist manifesto which expressed his hate toward Latin American immigrants in America. The violent rhetoric was embedded with sentiments of white supremacy, containing statements such as ‘They [immigrants] are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by invasion.”

While the shooting took place, shoppers panicked and rushed to exit the store. Amongst this chaos, there were people such as Gilbert Serna, a Walmart employee. Gilbert didn’t hesitate and started gathering large groups of people and hid them in large containers so the shooter wouldn’t spot them. He also saved more than 100 people by leading them out the back fire exit.

After minutes of terror, the El Paso police gained access to the Walmart and Patrick Crusius surrendered to them without resisting to the arrest.

The accused gunman after being arrested has not yet been assigned to court, but is in local police custody awaiting a trial. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident and believe it will be classified as a hate crime and act of domestic terrorism. Government officials are also considering to charging the gunman with a federal hate crime and gun charges in addition to the accounts of first-degree murder.

“It’s truly devastating what is happening in our society with all of these mass shootings and still nothing is being done to prevent more from happening,”  freshman Estefani Gil said.

The FBI and other government agencies are currently examining why Crusius decided to take peoples lives and how he became radicalized into white supremacy. The investigation into the shooter’s gun revealed that it was a legally-purchased AK-47 rifle with extra magazines. Each magazine carried 30 rounds of 39 millimeter bullets each traveling about 700 meters per second.

“It’s honestly messed up that we live in a world in which we have to constantly be afraid about what’s going to happen. We have to be so cautious about everything and over-think everything,” freshman Sabrina Machado said.

The El Paso shooting has left Texas, an open-carry state, divided regarding the future of gun laws in their state. While Democrats and protesters push for background checks and restriction of automatic weapons, critics continue to argue for laws allowing people to more easily access and carry personal fire arms in order to defend themselves in the instance of a mass shooting.

Meanwhile, the El Paso community aims to honor and remember the victims of the recent shooting, taking flowers, candles and photos of the deceased to the Walmart where the tragedy took place. Many families are taking to social media, posting posting pictures and paragraphs honoring those victims on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, as a first step in the healing process of the community.

[powr-twitter-feed id=f96ffcc4_1565402552397]