A reported 20 people were killed and 26 others wounded injured Saturday morning in a mass shooting attack inside an El Paso, Texas, WalMart store, according to a CBS News report.
KTSM, a local NBC affiliate TV station in the Texas border city posted security camera photos of the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius. Those photos may be seen below on this page.
A racist “manifesto” appearing online has reportedly been linked Crusius. The author of the documents rants against Hispanics and makes reference to the “invasion” of El Paso by Hispanic immigrants. Police say they are “resonably coincident” that the suspect posted the manifesto, according to an NBC News report.
Police officers on the scene told KTSM that 18 people were dead at the scene of the shooting. El Paso police confirmed that total at about 3 p.m. local time.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo confirmed to KTSM that there were multiple casualties and that suspects had been taken into custody. The suspects were “believed to be involved” in the shooting attack, according to the Mayor’s statement.
Police later said they had one suspect in custody, according to CNN. The possibility of multiple shooters had been “ruled out” by 1:40 local time, according to a briefing by police Sergeant Robert Gomez, though he added that the assessment of the number of shooters would be subject to change. But KTSM reported that one suspect was in custody and one had been “detained.”
KTSM obtained a security camera photos that the station said showed the shooter entering the WalMart.
A law enforcement official in El Paso told me the Walmart shooter is in custody. Patrick Crusius of Dallas. Just turned 21 years old this week. pic.twitter.com/CEJh6rYij1— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) August 3, 2019
Unconfirmed rumors circulated via social media that a “manifesto” associated with the shooter or shooters had appeared on an internet message board, according to independent journalist Scott Stedman, who reported the possibility via Twitter. The alleged “manifesto was said to have been posted on the 8Chan message board, a forum for extremist views.
While reports circulated on social media that the manifesto was hoax, its actual status remained unconfirmed. Stedman said via Twitter that a different file uploaded to 8Chan by the same user who uploaded the supposed “manisfesto” included the name “Crusius.”
Stedman reported via Twitter that the alleged shooter “also uploaded a letter sent to him by his college,” in which the school said it was investigating a report that he was “drunk in class.”
Another independent journalist, Jake Hanrahan, had initially dismissed the manifesto as a hoax, but later reversed his view, based on an analysis of timestamps on the manifesto’s upload, and other factors, including that “the weapon seen in security camera videos matches up with the weapon the writer of the manifesto said he’d use. The mentioned location also matches up with the shooting.”
Scrap that. Manifesto likely legit. It was posted to 8Chan before the first EMS call. The El Paso shooter expresses many far-right views in the manifesto and says his main reason for this shooting was basically that he hates Hispanic immigrants. This is him at the scene. pic.twitter.com/kdesB3gMGJ— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) August 3, 2019
“The manifesto is 4 pages long. It is vile, references white supremacist literature and is filled with seething hatred towards Hispanics and immigrants,” Stedman wrote on Twitter.
Stedman also reported via Twitter that the manifesto is “being taken seriously by the FBI” but whether it is actually the work of a person involved in the shooting remained unconfirmed, as reports that the manifesto was a hoax continued to circulate online.
The unconfirmed reports said that whoever authored the “manifesto” claimed to be targeting Hispanics, and that the shooting was a reaction to “the Hispanic invasion in Texas,” according to multiple postings via Twitter. Whether the supposed “manifesto” was real or a hoax remained unconfirmed as of early Saturday afternoon.
At about 12:40 p.m. local time — which would be 2:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the El Paso mayor’s office confirmed that “multiple people” had been killed and that there were shooters in custody, according to a CNN report. There was no further confirmation that shooters were taken into custody, however. The exact number of casualties was not clear. One unconfirmed report posted via Twitter by El Paso Times photographer Mark Lambie claimed that at least 22 people including four children were dead.
This is the gun the alleged shooter says he used in his alleged manifesto. WASR-10, the civilian version of the AK-47. pic.twitter.com/KT0K0Y5cmh— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) August 3, 2019
El Paso police said in a Twitter announcement that they had received “multi reports of multiple shooters” and implored residents to stay away from areas in and around the Cielo Vista Mall, where the shooting took place and which lies south of the El Paso International Airport. The shooter or shooters may be still active, even though a shooter or shooters were reportedly in custody, according to Olivia Zepeda, the El Paso mayor’s Chief of Staff.
At 12:55 local time, police said that they no longer believed that there was an “active shooter” on the scene, and that there was no longer an “imminent threat” to the public.
The FBI office in El Paso said via Twitter that it had responded to the shooting reports, and was coordinating with the local police. Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez told MSNBC that he had heard reports that the shooter for shooters used assault-style weapons in the attack.