29 killed in US mass shootings in less than 24 hrs
Washington: At least 29 people were killed and over 40 others were injured in two separate incidents of mass shootings in the US states of Texas and Ohio in less than 24 hours, media reports said.
In Ohio, nine people, including the perpetrator, were killed and 16 others were injured early Sunday morning in the shootings outside the Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton city’s Oregon area.
The incident took place after mass shooting in Texas’s El Paso city killed 20 people and injured 26 others on Saturday.
According to the Dayton Police Department, the first call of the Ohio incident came in at around 1 a.m.
“We had officers in the immediate vicinity when the shooting began and were able to respond and put an end to it quickly,” the BBC quoted the Dayton Police Department as saying in a tweet.
Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper told the media that officers on patrol managed to take down the shooter who is yet to be identified. Carper said the subject fired a “long gun” with multiple rounds.
He added that it was “very fortunate that the officers were in close proximity”.
Nothing more was known about the shooter, but Carper said they were “anxious to discover” a motivation.
Police believe the suspect acted alone and that there was no remaining threat to the community, but the investigation, assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was going on.
Footage posted on social media showed people running as dozens of gunshots echoed through the streets. It also showed several bodies on the floor covered in white sheets.
A note saying staff members were safe appeared on Ned Peppers’ Instagram page after the incident and on the nearby Hole in the Wall bar’s Facebook page, the BBC said.
In Texas, the attack took place at a Walmart store near the Cielo Vista Mall in the city located close to the US-Mexico border that has close to 700,000 inhabitants.
The suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, is currently in police custody.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said that the Walmart was full of shoppers buying back-to-school supplies at the time of the attack.
The identities of the victims were yet to be ascertained. Allen told the media that the tragic incident could be dubbed as “hate crime”.
El Paso Police and the FBI are investigating whether an anonymous white nationalist “manifesto”, shared on an online forum, was written by the gunman, the BBC reported.
The document said the attack was targeted at the local Hispanic community.
Governor Greg Abbott described the attack as “one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas”, while President Donald Trump called it “an act of cowardice”.
Authorities have termed the Texas shooting as the eighth deadliest in modern US history.
The attacks came less than a week after a teenage gunman killed three people at a California food festival.