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Death Toll In El Paso Shooting Climbs To 22

The number of fatalities from the massacre is nearing the total number of homicides the border city experienced in all of 2018. FBI officials, meanwhile, say they fear potential copycat shootings.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune
Police near the scene of a mass shooting at a WalMart in El Paso on Saturday, August 3, 2019.

The number of fatalities following Saturday's deadly shooting rampage at a Walmart has climbed to 22, according to the El Paso Police Department and local hospital officials.

"Sad to report that the number of fatalities increased by one. Victim passed early this morning at the hospital," the department's official Twitter account posted Monday. No other details about the victim were offered.

Del Sol Medical Center CEO David Shimp said at a press conference streamed by the Austin American-Statesman that another person had also died Monday. Shimp said that one of the other victims being treated at the hospital remains in critical condition.

More than two dozen other people were also wounded and authorities said last weekend the number of fatalities could continue to climb. At 22, the death toll is just one shy of the number of homicides recorded in the city last year. Homicides the two years prior were even less frequent, with 16 and 20 recorded in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

The death toll also included at least seven Mexican citizens who were at the shopping center when the alleged gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, north of Dallas, began firing a high-powered weapon that El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said was purchased legally.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” an agency statement said. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard called the shooting "an act of terrorism against the Mexican-American community and Mexican nationals in the United States," Politico reported. He tweeted that he would be in El Paso Monday; calls to the office of the Mexican Consulate General's office in El Paso seeking more information about the visit weren't immediately returned.

On Sunday police said the suspect was cooperating with authorities and said they were still trying to link an anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic manifesto to the alleged gunman.

He was charged with state capital murder and is also facing possible federal domestic terrorism charges, federal authorities said.

This piece was originally published on The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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