Two mass shootings that killed 29 people in less than 24 hours in the United States has sparked a nationwide debate over whether President Donald Trump’s rhetoric was partly to blame for the surging gun violence.
The first assault occurred on Saturday morning in the border city of El Paso in Texas, where a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store before surrendering to the police.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the gun assault appeared to be a hate crime, and police cited a “manifesto” they attributed to the suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, as evidence that the bloodshed was racially motivated.
A four-page statement posted on an online message board and believed to have been written by the suspect, called the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
John Bash, the US attorney for the Western District of Texas, said federal authorities were treating the shooting as a case of “domestic terrorism”, and a state prosecutor said they would seek the death penalty for the suspect.
Across the country, a second gunman dressed in body armour opened fire in a central district of Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding at least 27 others.
The suspected attacker was shot dead by responding officers.
Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper identified the suspect as 24-year-old Connor Betts, a white male from Bellbrook, Ohio, and said his sister Megan Betts, 22, was among those killed.
The motive behind the shooting was not immediately clear.
The U.S. President ordered for flags to be flown at half-mast for five days adding that hate has no place in our country”, but also blamed mental illness for the violence.
However, several Democratic presidential candidates saying President Trump’s language against minorities and migrants promotes racial division and violence. Pointing out at actions like calling Mexican migrants rapists and drug dealers and doing nothing when a crowd at a Trump rally chanted “send her back” in reference to a Somali-born congresswoman.
Source : Various