Stories

Mass murder in America

People hold hands at a vigil
People hold hands during a vigil for victims at St Pius X Church in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Less than 13 hours after a mass shooting during back-to-school shopping left 20 dead in El Paso, 9 people were killed overnight in Dayton, Ohio, in a second mass shooting.

Driving the news: CNN's banner tells the story of a weekend that no one will want to remember, but that we can't forget: "13 hours of bloodshed: Two mass shootings leave 29 dead."

  • The El Paso massacre ranks 8th in deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. (See the list.)

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said during a televised briefing that the shooting at a Walmart may have been a hate crime.

  • A racist, anti-immigrant screedcomplaining of a "Hispanic invasion of Texas" — was posted online shortly before the shooting.
  • Authorities suspect that it was written by the 21-year-old man they arrested at the scene, nine hours and 650 miles from his home in Allen, Texas.
  • The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation, CNN reported.

Dayton authorities say the suspected Ohio shooter was wearing body armor and had extra magazines, per the AP. The shooting was the 22nd mass killing in the United States in 2019, according to an AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database.

  • The project tracks all U.S. homicides involving four or more people killed — not including the offender — over a short period of time.
  • The first 20 mass killings in the U.S. in 2019 claimed 96 lives.
  • A week ago today, a 19-year-old gunman killed three people, including two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California.

The sad facts on the twin tragedies, via AP:

Police officers
Law enforcement responds to reports of an active shooter in El Paso. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images

In Texas, a gunman armed with a rifle opened fire in a shopping area packed with thousands of people, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.

  • El Paso police provided updates about the shooting in English and Spanish in the largely Latino city. The shopping area is about 5 miles from the main border checkpoint with its sister city, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
  • "The city has had a binational feel ... and has been in the national spotlight for months," the N.Y. Times points out. "Thousands of Central American families have flooded the city and surrounding areas seeking asylum, overwhelming the Border Patrol and nonprofit groups working with immigrants."
  • Get the latest. ... The story in photos.
Police on scene of mass shooting
Police officers following a mass shooting in the popular bar and nightlife Oregon district in Dayton, Ohio. Photo: Derek Myers/AFP/Getty Images

In western Ohio, Dayton police tweeted that an active shooter situation began in the Oregon District, a historic neighborhood at 1 a.m., but officers nearby were able to "put an end to it quickly."

  • Nine were killed and at least 16 others were taken to hospitals.
  • Police said the suspect was shot to death by responding officers.
  • The Oregon District is described by police as a safe part of downtown — home to entertainment options, including bars, restaurants and theaters.
  • Get the latest.