Sungjoon Chang /Northwood HS 11th
On August 3rd, 2019, a gunman shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The perpetrator, a 21-year-old white male named Patrick Wood Crusius, is believed to be a white supremacist who was racially motivated to carry out the shooting.
The incident started at 10:40 a.m, near the Cielo Vista Mall in east El Paso, at a Walmart Supercenter. Witnesses claim that the shooter started firing at people in the parking lot before entering the building.
At first, they thought the gunshots were sounds coming from a construction site nearby. It wasn‘t until other employees and customers warned them that they realized a shooting was happening.
The shooter was dressed in dark clothing and was equipped with a WASR-10, which is a semi-automatic, civilian version of the AK-47. Eyewitnesses state the shooter targeted people who appeared to be Hispanic while letting white and black customers leave the building.
Authorities arrived 6 minutes after the shooting occurred, and the shooter identified and surrendered himself to the El Paso police. 20 were declared dead at the scene, with 26 injured. Two of the injured died Monday morning, raising the death toll to 22, 14 of whom were American citizens. The shooter uploaded his manifesto to an imageboard website called 8chan 30 minutes prior to the shooting, in an effort to justify his actions. The manifesto was a 4 page long, 2300- word tirade that was filled with white-nationalist rhetoric. The shooter claimed that he “supports the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto”, and that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
Furthermore, he believed that “they are the instigators”, meaning the Hispanic population of Texas initiated this conflict, and that he is simply “defending [his] country from the cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion”.
This incident was not the only shooting that occurred this summer. On July 28th, 2019, a gunman opened fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing 4 people and injuring 13 others. The shooter’s motive is currently unknown. Additionally, on August 4th, 2019, a mass shooting took place at a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The shooter shot and killed ten people, on top of injuring 27 others, with no clear motive at the moment.
As a result of the recent streak of mass shootings, many are calling for stronger gun restrictions, while others claim gun control has no direct correlation to mass shootings. Whether or not gun control is needed, one thing remains certain: these tragedies cannot keep happening.
<Sungjoon Chang /Northwood HS 11th