This story has been updated throughout.
In response to the 20 deaths and even more injuries from a lone wolf gunman in an El Paso Walmart, Gov. Greg Abbott stressed a one dimensional solution to gun violence – mental health – and called for prayers.
“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.”
In 2015, he called for more guns in Texas.
The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the El Paso massacre. It appears the gunman, a 21-year old white man from Collin County outside of Dallas, is associated with — it’s not clear yet exactly how — a white nationalist manifesto. The FBI is asking anyone who took photos and video to send them unedited here. The gunman is in police custody.
The New York Times reported the manifesto read, “Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs,” the manifesto reads. “[T]he heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold.”
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the Republican nephew of former President George W. Bush, referred to the El Paso massacre as an act of “white terrorism.”
Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Texas’ own Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro, pointed to President Trump as an enabler of racism and violence in the United States. Many called for stricter gun safety laws, as did El Paso congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
“…To all of us who have the power to end this horror – I am imploring that we come together, and once and for all address the gun violence epidemic that plagues our nation.”
Texas has been the scene of gruesome mass killings in recent years, including in the communities of Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe. Republican lawmakers across the state refuse to implement laws to help reduce gun violence.