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El Paso shooting: 21-year-old suspect in custody as officials investigate possible hate crime

El Paso shooting: 21-year-old suspect in custody as officials investigate possible hate crimeOfficials investigating whether suspect wrote a ‘manifesto’ ahead of mass shooting that left at least 20 people dead and two dozen injuredPolice SWAT team members in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas Photograph: STRINGER/ReutersA mass shooting at a Walmart in the Texas border city of El Paso that has left 20 people dead and 26 injured is being investigated as a possible hate crime, Texas officials said.A 21-year-old white man is in custody after the mass shooting, one of the deadliest incidents in Texas history, El Paso’s police chief said. Local news outlets reported the name of the suspected shooter, but his name has not yet been officially released by law enforcement.He was named by the Associated Press and other media as Patrick Crusius, citing law enforcement sources.A local TV station published what it said was a picture of the suspect from CCTV footage.There was “little to minimum force” used when law enforcement took the suspect into custody, El Paso police spokesman Robert Gomez said at an earlier press conference. “No law enforcement personnel fired their weapon.”“It happened without incident so I can assume that the person dropped his weapons,” Gomez added.Law enforcement officials are investigating “a manifesto from this individual” that suggests the incident may be a hate crime, police chief Greg Allen said. He added that law enforcement still needed to “validate for certain” that the document under investigation was from the arrested suspect.The chief did not immediately offer more details on the document under investigation.> Confirmed Photo of the shooter as he entered the Cielo Vista Walmart store. EPShooting t.co/wfXkVy7a3y pic.twitter.com/TWVZwQXIyl> > — KTSM 9 News (@KTSMtv) August 3, 2019Investigators are “reasonably confident” that the Walmart shooting suspect posted the document on 8chan, an extremist online message board that often features racist content, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.If the manifesto is authentic, it would make it the third mass shooting announced in advance on 8chan in less than five months.In response to the document, 8chan commenters speculated whether the shooting would produce an impressive body count, mocked the shooter, and wrote “Hello FBI”.“That’s it. This website is getting shutdown,” one 8chan commenter wrote.Since mid-morning, commenters on 8chan had been circulating a document posted to the site that referenced Texas and a planned shooting attack motivated by white nationalist ideology.The 8chan document under investigation by Texas law enforcement described a gun attack that was intended to be “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.Its author described a hatred of race-mixing, and suggested that the United States should be separated into different territories for different races. His opinions on immigration predated Donald Trump’s run for president, the author wrote.El Paso is in western Texas, right on the border with Mexico. The diverse city has around 680,000 residents, and its population is around 80% Latino. More than 23,000 pedestrians cross from its Mexican twin city, Ciudad Juárez, across the border to El Paso to work every day.The document includes expression of support for the Christchurch gunman, whose attack on peaceful worshippers in New Zealand left 51 people dead in March. The alleged Christchruch gunman also described immigrants of color as an “invasion”.President Donald Trump has continued to refer to migrants at the United States’ southern border as an “invasion”, including in the immediate wake of the Christchurch shooting.El Paso has been at the center of the crisis over the Trump administration’s punitive treatment of migrants and refugees from Central America. It is more than 600 miles away from Allen, the Dallas suburb where law enforcement said the suspect lived.David Stout, El Paso county commissioner, told the Guardian he was concerned about reports that some victims or relatives might be afraid to go to reunification centers or seek medical attention due to their immigration status. He said he had not directly heard these accounts, but was worried people might be deterred since there were border patrol agents involved in the response.“People who are dealing with this type of tragedy, if they happen to be undocumented or an immigrant, they should not have to feel any further strife or any further pain or any further fear,” he said.Stout, who represents the district that includes the Walmart and spent the day at the hospital and school where people gathered, said it was “heartening and beautiful to see how in this community, we care for each other”.He noted that there were massive lines of people donating blood, and that he witnessed many people offering rides and meals to victims’ families. “People just keep showing up to help.”Still, he added, “This is the most difficult day that I’ve seen in El Paso.”Globally, there have been at least 16 major violent attacks clearly linked to white supremacist ideology since 2011, not including last week’s attack on a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, which law enforcement officials are still investigating. After that shooting, media reports highlighted an Instagram post from an account with the same name as the alleged shooter, which referenced a late-19th century white supremacist text and described mixed-race people in derogatory terms.Suspects in two previous white supremacist shootings, the Christchurch shooting, and an April shooting targeting synagogue in Poway, California, that left one person dead and three injured, both posted documents on 8chan before the attacks.Posts linked to the suspect in a November mass shooting attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which left 11 Jewish worshippers dead, also referred to immigrants and refugees as “invaders.” Those posts were made on Gab, a different extremist social network.Early reports suggested the gun used in the shooting was a rifle, but police could not immediately confirm the make or model of the weapon, police officials said. The police chief said only one weapon had been identified.



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El Paso shooting: Mexicans among 20 dead as police investigate massacre as race hate crime

El Paso shooting: Mexicans among 20 dead as police investigate massacre as race hate crimeThree Mexicans have been confirmed among the 20 dead following the El Paso Walmart shooting, with authorities now saying they are actively investigating Saturday’s massacre as a race hate crime.Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced his compatriots had been killed in a social media post which offered “condolences to the families of the victims, both American and Mexican”.The revelation came as the horror endured – and heroism shown – by victims in their final moments inside the Texas border city supermarket started to emerge.One mother, aged just 25, was reportedly killed while shielding her two-month-old son as suspected gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, opened fire in the aisles.Jordan Anchondo’s baby suffered broken bones – but lived – after she fell on him in an apparent bid to protect him from further bullets as she herself lay dying. She was shopping for school supplies for her other children at the time."When she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that's why he broke some of his bones,” Ms Anchondo’s sister Leta Jamrowski told the Associated Press news agency. “He pretty much lived because she gave her life."In another act of bravery, an off-duty military officer caught up in the incident has told how he carried children out from the supermarket as the shooting began.Glen Oakley told MSNBC: "I see a whole bunch of kids running around without their parents, I got my bag in my hand I'm trying to pick up as many as I can and run out"They're so anxious, they're dropping out of my hand."Of the 20 people killed, they are reported to range in age from a two-year-old toddler to an 82-year-old.Crusius himself was arrested after surrendering to police, who arrived at the supermarket – a popular Saturday afternoon destination for cross-border shoppers – within six minutes.Greg Allen, El Paso police chief, said authorities were now working to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online shortly beforehand was written by the suspect, who is said to have driven more than 1,000km from his home in Dallas to commit the atrocity.The four-page document includes passages decrying the "Hispanic invasion" of the US, while the author also makes clear he intends to kill during an upcoming attack.The first sentence expresses support for Christchurch mosque shooter who killed 51 people in New Zealand in March."Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree, it has a nexus to potential hate crime," Chief Allen said.At least two Democrat presidential candidates – Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and former congressman Beto O'Rourke – drew connections between the massacre and an apparent resurgence in white nationalism in the US."America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism," Mr Buttigieg said.Mr O’Rourke, an El Paso native, went even harder during a press conference. When asked by a reporter if Donald Trump was to blame for a rise in white nationalism, he replied simply: “Yes.”He added: "We've had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years, during an administration where you have a president who's called Mexicans rapists and criminals. Though Mexican immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than those born here in the country, he has tried to make us afraid of them, to some real effect and consequence.”On Twitter, the US president himself called the shooting "an act of cowardice", adding: “There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”



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Trump renews attack on black congressman Elijah Cummings and says he should ‘investigate himself’

Trump renews attack on black congressman Elijah Cummings and says he should ‘investigate himself’Donald Trump has attacked a black US congressman about the city of Baltimore for the second time in less than a week.Elijah Cummings, whose congressional district covers approximately half of the Maryland city, should use his role as House Oversight Committee chairman to “investigate himself”, the US president claimed. Billions of dollars sent to tackle crime and boost Baltimore’s economy had been “stolen or wasted”, Mr Trump tweeted. He wrote that the city’s “numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy.”He added: “Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail. The money was stolen or wasted. Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!”Mr Trump was criticised over the weekend for saying the congressman’s majority-black district in the Baltimore area was a “rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live”.But when he was accused of race-baiting, the president insisted there was nothing racist about his comments.Instead, he accused Mr Cummings of racism.“If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership,” he tweeted. He added: “His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!”The remarks followed a weekend of attacks against Mr Cummings, who is leading number of congressional investigations into Mr Trump and his administration.Mr Trump claimed that the congressman’s district, which includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Social Security Administration and the national headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States”.He later accused rival Democrats of trying to “play the race card”.He tweeted: “There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself.“Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!”Mr Trump has been repeatedly accused of racism in recent weeks after he attacked four Democratic congresswomen of colour known as “the squad”. He said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should leave the US “right now”. He added that if they “hate our country” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.All four Democrats are American citizens and only Ms Omar, who arrived in the US from Somalia at the age of seven, was not born in the US. He has also repeatedly attacked Mr Cummings. Earlier this week, he tweeted: “If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left ‘Squad’ and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020.”



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Police investigate after US flag removed during protest

Police investigate after US flag removed during protestPolice say they will be reviewing any available video to help them identify protesters who trespassed and pulled down the American flag in front of an immigration detention center in suburban Denver, tried to burn it and replaced it with a Mexican flag. Friday night’s protest in Aurora, one of many coordinated across the country, drew about 2,000 people and was mostly peaceful. Cristian Solano-Cordova, a spokesman for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, told The Denver Post that those who pulled down the flags weren’t affiliated with mainstream immigrants’ rights groups but had coordinated with them to be there.



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Nevada authorities investigate what may be first death related to California earthquakes

Nevada authorities investigate what may be first death related to California earthquakesAuthorities in Nevada are investigating a man's death which may be the first attributed to the earthquakes that hit Southern California last week.



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Schumer: ATF should investigate Dominican Republic deaths

Schumer: ATF should investigate Dominican Republic deathsThe Senate’s top Democrat said Sunday that the U.S. government should step up efforts to investigate the deaths of at least eight Americans in the Dominican Republic this year. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should lend support to the FBI and local law enforcement, said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., noting the agency has offices in the Caribbean and the technical and forensic expertise that could aid the investigation. “Given that we still have a whole lot of questions and very few answers into just what, if anything, is cause for the recent spate of sicknesses and several deaths of Americans in the Dominican Republic, the feds should double their efforts on helping get to the bottom of things,” Schumer said in a statement.



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The Latest: Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Morsi's death

The Latest: Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Morsi's deathA leading human right group is urging Egypt to investigate the death of former President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who rose to office in the country’s first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, has collapsed during a court session on Monday and died. The militant Hamas group has praised former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his stance toward the Gaza Strip, following his sudden death.



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Trump Digs In for Battle Over Congress's Power to Investigate

Trump Digs In for Battle Over Congress's Power to InvestigateThe battle took clear shape this week as a Justice Department official and a former White House official rebuffed subpoenas tied to the census and security clearances. “I say it’s enough,” Trump told reporters Wednesday as he departed the White House for an event in Atlanta. To wage that fight, the White House is taking a position that challenges almost a century of legal precedent protecting Congress’s broad authority to investigate.



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Trump Digs In for Battle Over Congress's Power to Investigate

Trump Digs In for Battle Over Congress's Power to InvestigateThe battle took clear shape this week as a Justice Department official and a former White House official rebuffed subpoenas tied to the census and security clearances. “I say it’s enough,” Trump told reporters Wednesday as he departed the White House for an event in Atlanta. To wage that fight, the White House is taking a position that challenges almost a century of legal precedent protecting Congress’s broad authority to investigate.



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FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombings

FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombingsThe Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that killed 359 and injured 500.



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