Authorities say the 21-year-old man accused of carrying out the deadly mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart confessed after surrendering and said he had been targeting Mexicans.
El Paso Detective Adrian Garcia said in an arrest warrant affidavit that Patrick Crusius emerged with his hands up from a vehicle stopped at an intersection shortly after last Saturday’s attack and told officers, “I’m the shooter.”
He said Crusius later waived his Miranda Rights and agreed to speak with detectives, telling them he was targeting Mexicans during his attack.
Just 20 minutes before the massacre, Crusius had posted a white supremacist manifesto online saying the shooting was in response to an “invasion” of Hispanics coming across the southern border.
Twenty-two people were killed in the attack and about two dozen others were wounded.
Many of the dead had Latino last names and eight of them were Mexican nationals.
El Paso sits on the border with Mexico.
TRUMP REASSURES NRA ON GUN REFORM
US President Donald Trump said he was talking to the National Rifle Association to ensure their “very strong views” on gun control were respected in the wake of last weekend’s back-to-back mass shootings, pitching himself as the America’s biggest supporter of gun rights.
Mr Trump confirmed he had spoken to leaders of the powerful gun lobby since last week’s massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which left 31 people dead and reignited calls for stricter controls.
“Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks. I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected,” the president said on Twitter. “Guns should not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone.”
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s leader, on Thursday rejected calls for tougher restrictions on firearms, and indicated he had raised those concerns with Mr Trump.
“The inconvenient truth is this: the proposals being discussed by many would not have prevented the horrific tragedies in El Paso and Dayton,” Mr LaPierre said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rebuffed calls to bring senators back from their summer recess to vote on gun control legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives.
“I want to make a law, not just see this political sparring going on endlessly,” he told NewsRadio 840 WHAS in Kentucky, adding that a possible ban on assault weapons would “probably be discussed as well” when politicians returned in September.
The El Paso and Dayton shooters used semiautomatic weapons, which can be legally bought in most US states, to mow down large numbers of people in minutes or even seconds.
The Second Amendment of the US constitution, which enshrines the right of citizens to bear arms, has long been used to justify easy access to weapons designed for warfare.
Mr Trump regularly touts himself as its biggest supporter, and days after coming into office signed a resolution passed by the Republican-led Congress to undo an Obama-era regulation limiting gun sales to the mentally impaired.