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Mass shootings devastate El Paso and Dayton. Here’s what we know

In El Paso, Texas, a gunman armed with a rifle killed 22 people and injured more than two dozen others on Saturday morning. The shooting took place at a packed Walmart as many families in the border city were shopping for school supplies.

Less than 13 hours later in Dayton, Ohio, another gunman wearing a mask and bulletproof vest took the lives of nine people. The shooting, which started about 1:05 a.m. Sunday and lasted less than a minute, officials said, occurred in the downtown Oregon District, and injured another 27 people.

Here’s the latest on what we know of the two massacres.

The motives

The El Paso shooting is being investigated as a case of domestic terrorism, the U.S. Attorney for the West District of Texas confirmed on Twitter.

Authorities on Saturday indicated they were looking into the shooting as a hate crime, referencing a racist, anti-immigrant document posted online shortly before the attack. On Sunday, officials said they would seek the death penalty.

The motive behind the Dayton shooting is unclear. “We do not have sufficient information to answer the question everyone wants to know: Why?” said Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl in a news conference on Sunday, adding that there was significant evidence left to investigate.

One of the victims was the shooter’s younger sister. It’s unknown if she was an intended target or not.

The gunmen

One man in custody in El Paso is believed to be the sole perpetrator, officials there said. The gunman has been identified by the Associated Press as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, which is about nine hours by car from El Paso.

According to officials, after the Dayton gunman fired “dozens of rounds” with a .223-caliber rifle, he was killed by police in a confrontation within a minute of the first shot. On Sunday afternoon, the shooter was identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts of Bellbrook, Ohio.

Biehl said the gunman had enough magazines to shoot off 250 rounds if all of them were full, and he called Betts’ modfied weapon “fundamentally problematic.”

The victims

In El Paso, Jordan Anchondo, 25, was killed protecting her 2-month-old son, her sister Leta Jamrowski said. Anchondo, a mother of three, had been shopping for back-to-school supplies at Walmart when she was shot. Late Sunday afternoon, local news stations reported that Anchondo’s husband, Andre Anchondo, had also died in the shooting.

Arturo Benavides was also killed, news reports said. “He was an amazing husband, son, brother, godfather and uncle,” read a GoFundMe posted Sunday. “He was an honored Army Veteran, and well-known Sun Metro Bus driver.”

Mexican officials said six Mexican nationals were killed and another six were injured in the shooting. Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard shared their names on Twitter. Those victims were Sara Esther Regalado; Adolfo Cerros Hernández; Jorge Calvillo García; Elsa Mendoza de la Mora; Gloria Irma Márquez; and María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe.

The City of Dayton released the names of the nine people killed in that shooting. The 22-year-old sister of the suspect was the youngest of the victims. They are:

  • Lois L. Oglesby, 27
  • Megan K. Betts, 22, the suspect’s sister
  • Saeed Saleh, 38
  • Derrick R. Fudge, 57
  • Logan M. Turner, 30
  • Nicholas P. Cumer, 25
  • Thomas J. McNichols, 25
  • Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36
  • Monica E. Brickhouse, 39

Memorials 

A number of vigils were planned for Sunday night in El Paso, local news station KVIA reported. Along with the vigils — at Northeast Bible Restoration Church, the Interfaith Alliance of the Southwest, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and the El Paso County Sports Park — a march against gun violence led by Las Americas was also planned.

A vigil was planned for 8 p.m. Sunday in Dayton’s Oregon District, the site of the shooting.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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