A gunman opened fire at a popular Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday morning, killing 22 and injuring 26. The shooting is the third deadliest in Texas history, behind the Sutherland Springs shooting in 2017 and the 1991 Luby’s shooting in Killeen, Texas.
The shooting left El Pasoans devastated in a city that has consistently ranked among the safest in the United States.
Hours after the El Paso shooting ended, a gunman killed nine and injured at least 27 in Dayton, Ohio.
The El Paso and Dayton mass shootings join the series of killings that have happened in the United States this year. On July 29, three were killed and 12 wounded at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Gun Violence Archive – which defines mass shootings as an incident where at least four people are injured, excluding the shooter – reports there have been 255 mass shootings in 2019 alone.
Texas and the San Antonio area has seen its fair share of gun violence. In 2017, a gunman shot and killed 26 people and injured 20 others in Sutherland Springs before being shot by a bystander, crashing his car, and ultimately dying of a self-inflicted gunshot. And in 2018, 10 people were killed and 10 injured in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
The second-deadliest shooting in Texas took place in Killeen in October 1991, when George Jo Hennard drove his pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s restaurant. He shot and killed 23 people and wounded 27 others. After refusing to surrender, Hennard engaged in a brief shootout with police and then fatally shot himself.
In 1979, Ira Attebury opened fire from inside his recreational vehicle during the Battle of Flowers Parade near downtown San Antonio, killing two and injuring 51. In 1966, University of Texas at Austin student Charles Whitman ascended the university’s iconic bell tower and opened fire on the campus below. Seventeen people, including Whitman, lost their lives on Aug. 1, 1966; an 18th victim died in 2001 from related injuries and 31 were injured in the massacre.
Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas, drove more than 650 miles to El Paso to carry out what police have determined a racially motivated attack, which he outlined in his manifesto.
On Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the El Paso shooting was a “heinous and senseless act of violence,” and called it a hate crime.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss,” Abbott said in a statement. “While no words can provide the solace needed for those impacted by this event, I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in offering our prayers for the victims and their families.
“The state of Texas will do everything it can to ensure justice is delivered to the perpetrators of this heinous act.”
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