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Updated On: Monday, 19 August 2019

Police: Suspect in Texas Shooting Says He Was Targeting Mexicans

Content by: Voice of America

The suspect accused of carrying out last week’s mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, told police after the shooting that he had been targeting Mexicans, according to authorities.

A police affidavit released Friday said the suspect, Patrick Crusius, confessed to the shooting after getting out of his car and surrendering to police, saying, “I’m the shooter.”

The affidavit from Detective Adrian Garcia said Crusius waived his right to remain silent and, after being taken into police custody, “The defendant stated his target (was) Mexicans.”

Crusius is accused of shooting and killing 22 people and wounding two dozen others last Saturday.

Online post

Shortly before the attack, authorities believe Crusius posted online, expressing anger about a “Hispanic invasion” of the United States.

Authorities said Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his hometown near Dallas, Texas, to the predominantly Hispanic border city of El Paso to carry out the shootings. Eight of the dead were Mexican nationals.

Family members of the victims gathered at funerals on either side of the border Friday to remember their loved ones.

Also Friday, top Trump administration officials met with social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter and Google to discuss ways to reduce online extremism and try to prevent mass shootings.

“The conversation focused on how technology can be leveraged to identify potential threats, to provide help to individuals exhibiting potentially violent behavior and to combat domestic terror,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

Trump did not attend the meeting, and the White House declined to say which administration officials took part in the closed-door session.

The Washington Post reported that tech leaders expressed doubts about how much it was possible to use technology to identify potential attacks before they occur, raising concerns about privacy risks, according to sources at the meeting.

Two mass shootings

The El Paso attack came hours before another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that left nine people dead.

The two mass shootings have led gun control activists to renew their calls for Congress to take up action to reduce gun violence.

Trump said Friday that he believes he can influence the powerful gun rights group, the National Rifle Association, to allow stronger federal background checks. However, he said he also assured the group that its gun rights views would be “fully represented and respected.”

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