AT least 20 people were slaughtered and a further 26 injured after a twisted gunman opened fire at a Texas supermarket last night.
The “white supremacist” gunman, wearing a black shirt and khakis while carrying an AK47-type weapon, mowed down adults and children aisle-by-aisle in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
The suspect did not put up a fight as he was arrested – and has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Allen, 20 miles north of Dallas.
He is suspected of posting a sick race-hate manifesto online hours earlier that railed against “race mixing” and called on the deportation of immigrants – urging authorities to “send them back”.
The shooter stormed through the front entrance of the packed shop and opened fire on families as they were back-to-school shopping just before 11am local time.
His bloody 20-minute shooting spree left at least 20 people dead while twenty-six people were rushed to hospital – including a four-month-old baby.
The suspect later went on to tell investigators he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible, according to ABC News.
It is the eighth-deadliest mass shooting in US history – and the deadliest of the 21 attacks in the United States this year.
Governor Greg Abbott called the killing spree in the Texas border city “one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.”
DETAILS OF VICTIMS
Details of the victims have slowly begun to emerge – including a hero mum who was gunned down as she protected her baby.
Jordan Anchondo, 25, was fatally shot while holding her 2-month-old son, her sister said.
Heartbroken Leta Jamrowski, 19, added that her baby nephew suffered broken bones as the mum-of-three fell to the ground.
She said: “From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him.
“So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones.
“So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
Distraught Ms Jamrowski added that she fears her brother-in-law Andre Anchondo was also among the dead as he has not been in contact.
Mexican authorities confirmed three of its citizens were killed – although they have not been named.
Six Mexicans were also among those injured, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said.
Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted this morning to say that he sends “condolences to the families of the victims, both American and Mexican.”
President Donald Trump tweeted: “Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice.
“I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act.
“There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.
“Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”
Miguel Rodriguez was shopping for a toy for his seven-year-old son when the gun shots rang out at the supermarket near the Cielo Vista Mall.
He said the gunman “started shooting everyone, aisle by aisle, with rage.”
Chilling CCTV footage from the entrance of the Walmart Supercenter shows a gunman wearing large headphones or ear defenders walking with an automatic rifle.
Police originally feared there were multiple shooters – but later confirmed there was one.
Police are investigating whether a racist screed titled The Inconvenient Truth that was posted online shortly before the deadly shooting is linked to the suspect.
In it, the warped writer tells of their concern that an influx of Hispanics into the United States will replace aging white voters.
They also rail against Democrats and fear Republicans losing Texas and the White House.
And the author writes how they were “inspired” by the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand that left 51 dead in March.
The FBI are looking into whether or not the nature of the shooting is a hate crime.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said: “Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates, to some degree, it has a nexus to potential hate crime.”
Authorities said the state of Texas will lead the prosecution – and are considering capital murder charges.
COPS RAID HOME
Police this morning raided a home in Allen, Texas, that has been linked to the suspect.
More than a dozen members of law enforcement could be seen outside the residence Saturday.
A woman answered the door at the gray stone house after a group of officers knocked.
They appeared to speak with her briefly and then she closed the door.
A short time later, the door reopened and officers entered.
Allen, located 20 miles north of Dallas, is an affluent community of about 100,000.
Alice Baland, who lives four houses down, said a sweet and church-going retired couple lives at the home.
The specific weapon used in the massacre has not been confirmed by police.
Former Democrat congressman and Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said he heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon.
A shaken Mr O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, added that Americans need to, “keep that s**t on the battlefield. Do not bring it into our communities.”
Graphic images showed bodies on the floor covered in blood in the car park of the Walmart and inside the superstore.
A distressing video circulating on social media showed what appears to be victims laying motionless next to a fundraising table outside the front doors of Walmart.
Other videos show people running out of the mall with their hands up and some hiding under tables as gun shots echo in the background.
There were earlier conflicting reports about the weapon or weapons used and the exact figure of fatalities and injuries.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News as many as 20 people are dead and that a 21-year-old man is in custody.
Chief Greg Allen said: “The scene was a horrific one.”
Initial reports suggest the weapon is an AK 47-style gun – but others indicate it could be a rifle.
Witnesses said a shooter opened fire with a “rifle” or some other “semi-automatic” type weapon, KTSM 9 News reported.
At the University Medical Center of El Paso, 13 patients were being treated at the facility’s trauma centre – including a four-month-old baby.
Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for the hospital, said four victims were rushed to the operating room and one died and another was discharged.
The rest remained in critical condition last night.
He added that two children, aged two and nine, were transferred to a local children’s hospital.
The Del Sol Medical Center said it was treating 11 victims aged 35 to 82 – and nine patients were in critical condition while two were stable.
A spokesman confirmed least three are suffering from life-threatening injuries.
Seven patients were immediately operated on and it is believed they will be undergoing multiple surgeries over the coming days.
Police said the first 911 call about an active shooter came in at 10.39am local time (5:39pm BST).
The first officers arrived on the scene at 10.45am – six minutes later – and none of the first responders were injured.
Sgt Robert Gomez, a police spokesman, said the Walmart was at capacity when the shooting happened.
He added: “At the time of the shooting there were between 1,000 and 3,000 people inside including employees.
“Many were back-to-school shopping so it was at capacity when the shooting happened.”
An officer told the Washington Examiner: “He shot and killed locals that were fundraising selling water. Children and adults.”
A Walmart employee heroically tried to get any many people out including children when the gunman started shooting.
The woman, who only wanted to be identified as Leslie, told KTSM: “I thought it was just like loud boxes being dropped or something, until they got closer and closer.
“That’s when I looked at my co-worker, and we looked at each other like shocked and scared.
“I got all the people that I could, I even found a little girl that was missing from her parents, and I got her, too.
“I tried to get as many people as I could out.”
Another eyewitness, named only as Vanessa, was walking into Walmart when she heard what she describes as “fireworks, really loud fireworks.”
She told Fox News: “You could hear the pops, one right after another and at that point as I was turning, I saw a lady, seemed she was coming out of Walmart, headed to her car.
“She had her groceries in her cart and I saw her just fall.”
Witness Rey Holgin told CBS News he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard at least 10 gunshots and he believes he saw at least two people with guns.
He added he saw at least one person, an elderly lady, fall to the ground – but wasn’t sure if she was shot.
Three Walmart employees hid in a nearby Landry’s Seafood house, restaurant manager Oscar Collazo told CNN.
She said: “We never thought it would be so close to us this time.
“You see on the news all the time, but you don’t think it could happen here until it does.”
President Trump tweeted earlier: “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas.
“Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement.
“Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”
MOST READ IN WORLD NEWS
US Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said on Twitter she was “heartbroken” by news and was monitoring the situation.
Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who used to represent the El Paso area, tweeted: “Truly heartbreaking.
“Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.”
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368. You canWhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.