Two mass shootings in America have left at least 29 people dead and dozens wounded in a shocking stretch of gun violence.
Over the course of thirteen hours, two separate mass shootings in crowded public places left the nation once again searching for solutions to the ongoing problems of gun violence.
“He didn’t say anything,” Adria Gonzalez, witness, said. “He just started. He walked in and started shooting at everybody.”
In El Paso, a gunman armed with an AK-47 style assault rifle opened fire in a Walmart, killing twenty people and wounding 26 others.
“The injuries that we saw here were very significant injuries, major amounts of tissue injury happened,” Dr. Stephen Flaherty, Medical Director of Trauma, said.
The gunman was identified by authorities as Patrick Crusius, 21, a white male resident of a Dallas suburb.
Video showed him walking into the store holding a rifle. He was apparently motivated by hate. Investigators said he posted a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto online before the shooting.
“We are treating this as a domestic terrorism case and we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice,” John Bash, U.S. Attorney, said.
El Paso is a city of 680,000 residents situated on the U.S.-Mexico border and is home to a large number of Hispanic people. The district attorney said he will pursue the death penalty.
“The state charge is capital murder, so he is eligible for the death penalty,” District Attorney Jaime Esparza said. “We will seek the death penalty.”
Hours later, in Dayton, Ohio, a 24-year-old white gunman wearing body armor and carrying extra ammunition opened fire in a popular nightlife area known as the Oregon entertainment district, killing nine and injuring more than two dozen. Disturbing surveillance video showed people scrambling for safety after a burst of gunfire.
The shooter was identified as Connor Betts.
Authorities said he killed his own sister and her boyfriend during the massacre.
Betts was shot to death by responding officers within a minute of the start of the massacre.
“I don’t think anything I can say can help the people who have lost loved ones, but I think for us, we have to just be there and I think that’s what we’ll do,” Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, said. “We’ll continue to stand in the gap in that and try to give them the space and grace they need at this time.”