The 21-year-old gunman who opened fire in an El Paso Walmart Saturday afternoon will likely be deemed a domestic terrorist following the discovery of his racist manifesto posted online.
We will not be linking to that document, as per policy. However, we can say that the bulk of the manifesto sites demographic changes and sending a message in the same vein as the Christchurch shooting as the main motivations for the shooter’s deadly attack.
“It appears the document, with no mention of the location of the attack, was posted on an extremist website at 10:12 a.m. Saturday, El Paso time, according to law enforcement sources. Police say the first 911 call alerting them to the shooting at the Walmart was made 27 minutes later ― not enough time to act,” reports NBC News’s Andrew Blankstein and Minyvonne Burke.
The popularity of the Cielo Vista Mall and the proximity of the mall to the U.S.-Mexico border may have been a political motivator for the shooter, but no formal statement or writing has confirmed this.
The FBI was called on the scene, yesterday, and federal authorities are “treating the El Paso mass shooting as a case of domestic terrorism, the US Attorney for the Western District of Texas said Sunday,” reports CNN.
“The Justice Department is also “seriously considering” bringing federal hate crime and federal firearm charges, which carry a possible death penalty, US Attorney John Bash said in a news conference.”
Overall, the attack claimed the lives of 20 people and injured an additional 26. Emergency blood donations were urgently needed following the attack.
The area is now secure.