Two mass violent shootings within 13 hours left at least twenty people dead in El Paso, Texas and nine killed in Dayton, Ohio. Federal prosecutors treated this tragic event as a “domestic terrorism case” and say they will seek the death penalty.
Police said a gunman walked into a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas and began shooting at about 10.40 a.m. Saturday morning. Hundreds of people were in the store, including school children.
Twenty people were killed and 26 were wounded in the violence. Among those killed, Jordan Anchondo died while trying to protect her 2-month-old son from bullets.
While Americans were still following the news of the killings in El Paso, another gunman attacked at about 1.00 a.m. on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio.
The man wore body armour, carried extra bullets and opened fire in a socially busy area described as “a safe part of downtown.” Nine people were shot to death and 16 were wounded.
Police arrested the shooting suspect at the attack site. He has been identified as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old man from Allen, Texas, a city about 10 hours from El Paso. Officials are investigating.
John Bash, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said, “the Justice Department is treating the shooting as a case of domestic terrorism” and “seriously considering” the crime charges against the suspect in the El Paso shooting.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley praised the police for their quick reaction. Otherwise, she said, “hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today.”
A week ago, another gunman killed three people and wounded 13 others at a public celebration in Gilroy, California.
U.S. President Donald Trump called the shooting in El Paso, “an act of cowardice.” He wrote on Twitter: “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”.
Democrats, however, were quick to blame the president for the violence. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic Party presidential candidate from El Paso, blamed Trump’s recent attack and comments on people of colour for the violence.
“He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it; he encourages it,” O’Rourke told.
> Juthy Saha
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