Death Toll in El Paso Walmart Mass Shooting Increases to 22
El Paso police Monday that two more people had died as a result of Saturday’s mass shooting at a Walmart has died, bringing the death toll to 22.
Calls to police about an active shooter came in at 10:39 a.m. and first responders arrived six minutes later, Police Chief Greg Allen said. The store was reportedly at capacity during the busy back-to-school shopping season, with as many as 3,000 people inside, according to multiple outlets.
In addition to the 22 people killed, 24 were injured.
Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb more than 600 miles from El Paso, is the suspect, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the investigation tells PEOPLE. Police said the suspect drove about 10 hours to the site of the shooting and surrendered to police without incident.
Allen said the shooting “has a nexus at this point in time to a hate crime.” The source close to the investigation said authorities were looking at a manifesto with white nationalist themes the suspect is believed to have written. According to the law enforcement source, the manifesto expressed support for the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand in which 49 people were killed as they prayed in mosques.
Describing the store after the shooting, Allen said, “The scene is a horrific one unfortunately because of the nature of the situation.”
At the Saturday press conference, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar addressed “this emerging narrative that we’re seeing throughout our country as to domestic terrorism.”
“El Paso has historically been a very safe community,” Escobar said. “This is someone who came from outside our community to do us harm.”
The New York Times reported earlier this year that the crime rate of El Paso, a city with a population of about 650,000, has consistently had a lower crime rate than cities of a similar size, according to FBI data.
Saturday’s shooting took place four days after a “disgruntled employee” fatally shot two colleagues at a Mississippi Walmart before being wounded by a responding officer and taken into custody.