Shootings & Mass Violence | KERA News

Shootings & Mass Violence

People attend a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

Here is what we know so far about some of the 22 killed and more than two dozen injured Saturday morning at a Walmart in El Paso.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

President Trump, responding Monday to the deadly weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people, condemned white supremacy and called for the death penalty for mass murderers and domestic terrorists.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the nation is "overcome with shock, horror and sorrow."

The country is reeling in the aftermath of three recent shootings that took place in California, Ohio and Texas during the span of one week.

On Saturday in the border city of El Paso, a violent rampage at a Walmart became one of the deadliest in Texas history, leaving 22 dead and dozens more injured. 

Associated Press

As authorities in Ohio try to pin down a motive for the weekend's second U.S. mass shooting and dig into the slain shooter's life, what they find might also help answer another big question looming over the tragedy: What, if anything, could have stopped it?

Associated Press

Ohio: A bar district where friends gathered for drinks on a warm Saturday night. Texas: A Walmart stocked with supplies for back-to-school shopping on an August morning. California: A family-focused festival that celebrates garlic, the local cash crop.

Two consecutive summer weekends. Less than seven days. More than 30 fellow human beings gone in moments, in public places exactly like those where huge swaths of the American population go without a second thought.

What Is A Mass Shooting? Why We Struggle To Agree On How Many There Were This Year

Aug 4, 2019

Every time there’s a shooting in the United States that leaves multiple people injured or dead, a few things happen in reaction. Public officials express their condolences, there’s often a call for legislative action. And reporting begins to come out referencing how many similar shootings have taken place that year.

Jake Bleiberg / Associated Press

About 20 minutes before the shooting started at an El Paso Walmart, a rambling screed was posted to an online message board saying the massacre was in response to an "invasion" of Hispanics coming across the southern border.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Sandy Heath was at a funeral service Saturday morning when she got a phone alert about an active shooter. That prompted her church to go on lockdown.

Then came the text messages from friends and family making sure Heath, 75, was ok. And, could she help?

Police have identified 24-year-old white male Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, as the shooter who claimed nine lives and injured 27 others in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.

Among the nine dead was the shooter's sister, Megan Betts, 22, said Lt. Col. Matt Carper at a news conference Sunday.

Rudy Gutierrez / Associated Press

Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso is the latest mass shooting to take place in Texas in recent years:

Updated Sunday at 11 a.m. ET

Twenty people are dead and 26 wounded after a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning, according to state and local authorities.

Speaking at a news conference, Gov. Greg Abbott said that what should have been a leisurely day of shopping "turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas."

"We pray that God will be with those who've been harmed in any way," he added.

Leigh Paterson / KUNC

Large-capacity magazines, containers that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, have been illegal in Colorado since 2013. Lawmakers passed the ban following the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. Several states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont also have magazine restrictions on the books. But many gun owners still use them.

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

In the immediate aftermath of the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School, a man who said he witnessed the carnage seemed to turn up everywhere.

Stella Chavez

In late May, hundreds of mourners packed a church in the heart of the Dallas LGBTQ community to remember the life of Muhlaysia Booker. The transgender 22-year-old was shot and killed in May, her body found on a street in Far East Dallas.

The man who killed 12 people in a municipal building on Friday in Virginia Beach, Va., fired many rounds — "well into the double digits" — and when officers caught up with the suspect, it took a "long gun battle" to stop him, according to Police Chief James Cervera.

One reason may have been the suspect's gear.

Authorities recovered a .45-caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines that were emptied, Cervera said at a weekend news conference. "The suspect was reloading extended magazines in that handgun, firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers."

Associated Press

The resignation email the gunman sent hours before the shooting at a municipal building was brief, unremarkable and didn't contain anything that foreshadowed the bloody rampage to come, a Virginia Beach, Virginia, official told The Associated Press on Monday.

Members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs dedicated their new home and formally opened its doors on Sunday.

Oscar Stewart was following his Saturday routine. He observed the Sabbath at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, where the sound of Torah reading usually gives him solitude and peace.

“And I hear gunshots,” Stewart said. “And having been in Iraq, I know what shots sound like.”

Stewart said his first instinct was to run for safety. He got to the exit door but then something happened.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the devastating Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, according to a posting by the group's Amaq news agency Tuesday.

Without offering evidence of its involvement, the group commonly known as ISIS said the suicide attacks that killed more than 320 people were carried out by "fighters of the Islamic State."

In a 2015 shootout in the parking lot of a Waco, Texas, restaurant, nine people were killed and 20 were injured. After the gunfight, police arrested 177 bikers, and a grand jury indicted 155 of them on charges of organized crime.

New Zealand's government has introduced legislation that would ban most semi-automatic firearms, including the types of weapons used in shootings last month at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people.

The bill's introduction on Monday marks the next step in passing gun control reform announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern following the March 15 attacks. Days after the shooting, Ardern vowed that "every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack last Friday" would be banned.

On Thursday morning, Sayyad Milne was washed and wrapped in white cloth. His loved ones buried him on a bluff overlooking Christchurch, New Zealand.

He was killed last Friday while he prayed with his family and friends, one of 50 people shot dead at two mosques that day.

He was 14.

Sayyad's classmates from Cashmere High School say he was good-natured, played goalie for the school soccer team and had dreams of playing internationally.

Ahmed Shalaldeh, with his 2-year-old daughter in a stroller, came to the burial to pay his respects.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A Facebook vice president said fewer than 200 people saw the Christchurch massacre while it was being streamed live on the site. But the video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, he added. Countless more views occurred in the hours afterward, as copies of the video proliferated more quickly than online platforms like Facebook could remove them.

New Zealand's cabinet has agreed "in principle" to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. "We've unified, there are simply details to work through," she said.

Washington Post / YouTube

One day after the mass shooting that left 50 people dead at two mosques in New Zealand, a lawmaker in Australia who blamed the attack on Muslim immigration was struck

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

Police say the number of people dead in the mass shooting that occurred at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has risen to 50.

"As of last night we were able to take all of the victims from both of those scenes, and in doing so we have further located another victim," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a news conference from the city of Wellington on Sunday.

Another 50 people were injured in the shootings. Of those injured, 36 people are hospitalized, with two in critical condition.

One of the most shocking aspects of the massacre that unfolded Friday at two mosques in Christchurch is that it happened in New Zealand — a country where low crime rates are a part of its identity and mass shootings are extremely rare.

"This is New Zealand. This can't happen here," as Muslim Association of Marlborough Chairman Zayd Blissett told Stuff.

Updated at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would seek a change in her country's gun laws after at least one man opened fire during afternoon prayers Friday and killed at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

"Our gun laws will change," Ardern declared in a news conference Saturday morning local time.

The violent attack struck at the very heart of New Zealand, a country that prides itself on being both peaceful and diverse.

A new investigation found that the Air Force repeatedly failed to report information that might have prevented an ex-airman who killed 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs from purchasing a gun.


Updated at 9:19 p.m. ET Sunday

A 24-year-old male opened fire during a video game tournament at a mall in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday afternoon, killing three people, including himself, according to the local sheriff.

Sheriff Mike Williams says the suspect has been identified as David Katz from Baltimore. The gunman used at least one handgun and was a participant in the tournament, according to the sheriff. Authorities planned to release more information about the suspect later on Sunday.

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