The Dominion Post
‘Dead people ... everywhere’
The United States has ben rocked by two mass shootings in 24 hours with 20 dead in Texas and as many as seven in Ohio.
A young gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, shopping area packed with as many as 3000 people during the busy back-toschool season yesterday, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
Also last night in Dayton, Ohio, videos from the scene of a shooting showed more than five bodies on the ground, covered by white sheets. In another video, shot after shot can be heard.
WHIO-TV reported as many as seven people were dead.
Witnesses said there were what sounded like ‘‘40 or 50 shots’’ outside Ned Peppers Bar.
"There’s dead people on the road everywhere... there was just a mass shooting down here," one man at the scene said in a video posted to Facebook.
James Williams posted a video to Facebook in which he described seeing the massacre unfold.
He said the shooter was a man armed with a rifle, an AR-15, wearing earmuffs and a vest. The gunman "just started blowing bullets everywhere".
"Outside the patio where I was sitting there was at least eight dead victims, I don’t know how many people have been taken away from other locations. It’s awful, I’ve never seen anything like this before."
In El Paso, authorities were investigating the possibility the shooting was a hate crime, working to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested in the attack on the 680,000-resident border city.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the suspect was arrested without police firing any shots outside the Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall, about 8km from the main border checkpoint with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Two law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity identified the suspect as 21-yearold Patrick Crusius. El Paso police didn’t release his name at a news conference but confirmed the gunman is from Allen, near Dallas. Many of the victims were shot at the Walmart, according to police, who provided updates about the shooting in English and Spanish throughout the day in the largely Latino city.
‘‘The scene was a horrific one,’’ said Allen, adding that many of the 26 people who were hurt had life-threatening injuries.
The shooting came less than a week after a 19-year-old gunman killed three people and injured 13 others at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival before dying of a selfinflicted gunshot wound.
Residents quickly volunteered to give blood to the injured after the El Paso shooting, and police and military members were helping people look for missing loved ones.
‘‘It’s chaos right now,’’ said Austin Johnson, an Army medic at nearby Fort Bliss, who volunteered to help at the shopping center and later at a school serving as a reunification center.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said police were investigating whether a document posted online shortly before the shooting was written by Crusius. In it, the writer expresses concern that an influx of Hispanics into the United States will replace aging white voters, potentially turning Texas blue in upcoming elections and swinging the White House to the Democrats.
The writer also is critical of Republicans for what he described as close ties to corporations and degradation of the environment.
Though 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. The first sentence of the four-page document expresses support for the man accused of killing 51 people at two New Zealand mosques in March after posting his own screed with a conspiracy theory about nonwhite migrants replacing whites.