Twenty people were killed and 26 were injured when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso on Saturday morning.
Texas officials announced Sunday they will seek the death penalty against the 21-year-old suspect, Patrick Crusius of Allen, a suburb of Dallas. At a news conference, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, John Bash, said officials are treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case and could pursue federal hate crime charges.
In a white nationalist rant posted online and attributed to the suspect, the attack was called a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The Walmart that was targeted was frequented by Mexican nationals who crossed over into the border town to shop. Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday afternoon that at least six Mexican nationals were killed in the shooting. Later Sunday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said there were seven.
Outside MacArthur Middle School, which was being used as a reunification center, Raul Flores told KERA’s Mallory Falk he was trying to get information about his parents, Raul and Maria Flores.
“I can’t contact them on the phone and we’re just waiting to hear what they have for us,” he said. “We don’t know if they’re in the hospital; we don’t know what’s going on. We haven’t heard from them since 10 o’clock yesterday morning.”
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Sgt. Robert Gomez, a spokesman for the El Paso Police Department, said all bodies had been removed from the Walmart.
Gomez said authorities were still identifying the victims and notifying next of kin. He said the department would release a complete list of the victims’ names when the process was completed.