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Texas: El Paso Walmart Shooting Attack ‘Appears to Be Hate Crime’


TAXES– A shooting at a supermarket in the US state of Texas that left 20 dead could have been a hate crime, officials say.

A 21-year-old white man was arrested at the Walmart store where the attack took place in the city of El Paso, near the US-Mexico border, on Saturday.

A document, apparently posted shortly before the attack and believed to have been written by the man, espoused white supremacist and racist views.

The tract called the attack a response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.

The man, who opened fire with an assault-style rifle, lived in Allen, Dallas, about 650 miles (1,046km) east of El Paso, police said. The attack also left 26 injured.

Officials have not offered a precise motive for the attack, but El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said investigators were looking into a document that could indicate a “potential nexus to a hate crime”.

He appeared to be referring to a text posted on 8chan, an online message board frequently used by the far right, which describes a “cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion”, in reference to Hispanic people in the US.

The four-page document, believed to have been posted some 20 minutes before police received the first emergency call, also expresses support for the gunman who killed 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.

Police said the man, who surrendered after being confronted by officers outside the store, was still being interviewed. US media has named him as Patrick Crusius.

“We’re going to aggressively prosecute it both as capital murder but also as a hate crime, which is exactly what it appears to be,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters.