Aug 6, 2019

Federal authorities open domestic terrorism investigation into Gilroy shooting

A makeshift memorial outside the site of the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 29, 2019. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Federal authorities said on Tuesday that they have launched a domestic terrorism investigation into the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, which killed two children ages 6 and 13 and a man in his 20s, the Los Angeles Times reports.

How we got here: A man identified as the suspect posted a reference to a racist manifesto on social media days before the shooting. The shooter had a "target list" that featured unspecified religious groups, U.S. buildings and members of both political parties, the FBI said Tuesday.

What's next: "[A]uthorities continue to try to determine a motive for the attack," per the L.A. Times. "Authorities have not determined whether the gunman was a white nationalist, but they have not ruled it out either," said John Bennett, the FBI special agent managing the case.

The big picture: The Gilroy attack is one of three high-profile mass shootings to take place in the past 10 days. The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas said he will also be treating the shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday as a domestic terrorism case. The motive behind the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, is not yet known.

  • The FBI Agents Association urged Congress on Tuesday to make domestic terrorism a federal crime, arguing that it would ensure FBI agents and prosecutors have the "best tools" to fight it. Because there is currently no clear federal domestic terrorism statute, the Justice Department cannot prosecute the case under the same terrorism laws applied to foreign nationals.

Go deeper ... What we know so far about the Gilroy Garlic Festival deadly shooting

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FBI agents call on Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The FBI Agents Association released a statement on Tuesday urging Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime, arguing that it would that would ensure that FBI agents and prosecutors have the "best tools" to fight it.

Driving the news: Two mass shootings perpetrated over the weekend by American citizens left 31 dead, bringing the issue of domestic terrorism back into the national conversation. The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas says he will be treating the shooting at an El Paso Walmart as a domestic terrorism case. However, because there is currently no clear federal domestic terrorism statute, the Justice Department cannot prosecute the case under the same terrorism laws applied to foreign nationals.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019

GOP Rep. Steve Scalise calls for domestic terrorism to be a federal crime

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he supports making domestic terrorism a federal crime after mass shooters in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people last weekend.

Go deeperArrowAug 11, 2019

Gilroy Garlic Festival deadly shooting: What we know so far

People attend a vigil for victims of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Monday. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Investigators believe the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter acted alone in a "pre-planned attack" on June 28 that wounded 15 people and killed 2 children and a man in his 20s, police said.

The latest: Federal authorities said on Tuesday that they have launched a domestic terrorism investigation into the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting. "Authorities have not determined whether the gunman was a white nationalist, but they have not ruled it out either," said John Bennett, the FBI special agent managing the case.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 6, 2019