EL PASO, Texas (CBS NEWS) — Police on Monday said that Patrick Crusius, the man suspected of killing 22 people in El Paso last weekend, stopped at the Walmart where he allegedly carried out the mass shooting because he was hungry and randomly chose the store to carry out his attack.
Authorities added that Crusius got lost in a neighborhood before visiting the Walmart — but not long after he arrived, the shooting began.
Crusius, who is now in custody and being held without bail, has been unemployed for five months and used food stamps, authorities said — but he bought his high-powered rifle legally. A racist manifesto that police believe was written by Crucius, posted online before the shooting, criticized a growing Hispanic population in Texas.
The death toll from both the El Paso shooting and another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, this weekend rose to at least 31 on Monday. Those people are among at least 80 killed or injured within the span of 13 hours. President Trump plans to visit the two cities on Wednesday as the nation grapples with the tragedies.
“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell spoke to Ray Garcia, who raced to the scene and pulled several kids from a girls’ soccer team to safety. Garcia said he ran towards the danger “because of the kids.”
“That was most important for me, was the kids,” he said. “Getting them out of there. I didn’t want them to keep suffering like they were. They were crying, they had seen too much already.”
Authorities have now identified all deceased victims of the El Paso shooting. At least seven are Mexican nationals. El Paso Mayor Dee Margo vowed that his city will stand strong in the face of evil.
“El Paso is a family and we must continue to stand united as our region heals,” Margo said, adding “Our borders may separate us; our grief transcends them. We’re one region and we will honor every victim like they were a member of our community.”
Javier Prado, an El Paso resident who became a U.S. citizen after moving to America for college, says he won’t let the attack unnerve him. “I think the worst thing that we can do as a community is stay in fear,” he said. “We need to show our support and show that we’re not going to be intimidated.”
Many in El Paso in part blame President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric for the shooting. Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar said the president was not welcome in the city — but the mayor said he considers welcoming the president’s visit as his “formal duty.”
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