At least 20 dead in El Paso shopping center

Please pray for all the families of the victims.

A gunman wielding an assault-style rifle killed at least 20 people and wounded 26 more Saturday at a busy Walmart and shopping mall not far from the Mexican border, authorities said, in the latest mass shooting to shatter a community and shake the country.

The assault happened right before 10 a.m. On a scorching summer day in Texas, shoppers were sent running for cover in a messy but all-too-familiar carnage scene, prompting huge police and medical response.

One official said the specific number of people killed and injured was subject to change, noting that some of the victims were in critical condition. It was not known how many of the injured were shot or were hurt trying to escape the scene.

Two law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, identified the suspect as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old man from a suburb near Dallas. He was taken into custody without incident.

One avenue of investigation is a manifesto that contains comments attacking immigrants and, according to the two authorities, sympathizes with a person charged with murdering 51 individuals previously this year at Christchurch in New Zealand. According to law enforcement authorities, they believe the gunman posted the anti-immigrant diatribe but are still collecting proof.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, Attorney General William P. Barr said that “those who commit such atrocities should be held accountable swiftly and to the fullest extent the law allows.” If investigators determine that Crusius did write the posting, he could be charged with violations of federal hate crimes laws.

The shooting in El Paso was the deadliest American mass shooting since November 2017, when a gunman killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. It comes just days after a gunman opened fire at a garlic festival in California, killing three and wounding 12 others. One of those killed in Gilroy was a 6-year-old boy.

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