In April of 1999, two high school students sent a ripple of shock and despair through the American public and many around the world as they entered Columbine High School in the state of Colorado and shot and killed twelve of their classmates. In the twenty years since, mass shootings such as this seem to be on the rise in America and a few other developed countries around the world.
Now the world is looking to El Paso, Texas, where a lone gunman entered a Walmart store on August 3rd, shooting and killing at least twenty people and injuring dozens more. The suspect was identified as twenty-one-year-old Patrick Crusius, and reported to be a follower of alt-right and pro Donald Trump social media content.
Crusius was apprehended at the scene by law enforcement officers without incident and is currently behind bars. The shooting is currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a hate crime and possible domestic terrorist attack. As of now, no charges have been filed.
— Máximo Alexander (@MaximoSPQR) August 3, 2019
Examining each horrendous mass shooting in recent decades, we have seen many similarities among the shooters and alleged Motus Operandi.
In most, if not all, of these mass shootings, investigations have revealed that the shooters were mentally unstable and prescribed psychotropic medications such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) for depression and/or anxiety, as well as antipsychotic medications.
Also, with each concurrent mass shooting incident, the shooters are often revealed to have some sort of white supremacist agenda, especially in recent years. The El Paso incident is certainly no exception.
In El Paso, TX where I met with Manuel Oliver. He lost his son Joaquin in the Parkland shooting and was visiting there to unveil a mural for Joaquin's birthday. Now he's comforting families dealing with his same grief. More tonight on @NBCNightlyNews. pic.twitter.com/9x2knTtO6z
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) August 4, 2019
As of now, investigations have discovered that the primary suspect, Patrick Crusius, had posted a manifesto online regarding his extreme political stances on immigration in particular.
According to his manifesto, it seems he was targeting Hispanics. Authorities are still in the process of verifying whether he had indeed written the manifesto. It has been reported that the FBI was aware of the manifesto before the shooting took place.
The manifesto titled ‘The Inconvenient Truth’ appears to have many typos and spelling errors. It states, “America is rotting from the inside”. It seems, in the text, Hispanic immigrants, whether legal or not, were the primary focus of the author’s anger.
The manifesto also states, “All of my life I have been preparing for a future that does not exist”
The author of the manifesto cited information which says that in under two decades half of American jobs will be lost to immigrants, therefore it makes no sense, according to the writer, to keep letting more immigrants into the country.
This is Glen Oakley.
He was in the Foot Locker when the El Paso shooting happened. When he ran to leave, he saw kids in the mall without their parents, scared and alone.
So he picked up as many as he could and carried them to safety
KNOW HIS NAME!
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) August 3, 2019
The manifesto also refers to immigrants as invaders and claims they have one of the highest birth rates of all ethnicities. The writer also believes that America will have to implement a universal basic income in order to prevent widespread poverty and civil unrest due to the massive loss of jobs.
In one portion of the four pages of the manifesto, the author rants that “…the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”
The shooter and alleged author of the manifesto was sure to make it clear that he did not want his actions blamed on US President Donald Trump and that his views on automation and immigraton, among other issues, predate the Trump Administration.
Apparently, Patrick Crusius was a supporter of the New Zealand Christchurch shooting back in March which is also considered an anti-immigration attack. He was sure to point out that Americans were not the target of his attack on the Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Crusius also wrote in the manifesto about his weapon of choice, calling the gun a WASR10. He wrote in detail about the fact that this was probably not the best choice of weapon for such an event since it is the civilian version of an AK47 and tends to overheat rather quickly when firing successive rounds. He said he would have to wear heat-resistant gloves for protection.
The manifesto ended with its author saying that he does not intend to allow himself to be captured and that he will likely end up dead after the shooting. He stated he did not want to be captured because he would surely face the death penalty and he did not want to live knowing his family would despise him for the act.
Investigators have discovered his social media pages including his Linkedin profile. At the time of this writing, not much else is known about him; much more will be revealed and reported as this tragedy unfolds.