Things That Matter

El Paso Needs Blood Donors After Another White Mass Shooter Kills 19 Walmart Shoppers

Miguel Rodriguez was simply shopping for a toy at Walmart when he heard gunshots and dropped to the ground to cover his 7-year-old son. Karina was routinely pulling into the mall parking lot with her daughter when they witnessed the shooter, dressed in black, shoot a man at “point-blank” range and enter the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the scene of America’s latest mass shooting.

Law enforcement agencies have identified the suspect as Patrick Crusius, who allegedly wrote a manifesto that detailed why he is “against race mixing,” supports Trump’s idea to “send them back” and predicts “genocide” in America’s future.

El Paso’s Police Department is urgently calling for the community to donate blood.

@CNNBRK / Twitter

In a tweet, @EPPOLICE announced minutes ago, “Blood needed urgently. Multiple injured transported to various hospitals. Blood donation centers Vitalent Blood Services at 424 s Mesa Hills and 133 N Zaragoza.”

If you live in the area, please consider donating blood.

At last 19 people are dead and 40 injured.

@GregHolmanNL / Twitter

Local police, FBI and S.W.A.T. were deployed to the scene where they were able to safely take the shooter into custody. Stories from the scene are harrowing. One Walmart employee recalls the moment she realized the “pops” weren’t boxes being dropped. “…That’s when I looked at my coworker, and we looked at each other like shocked and scared,” she told NBC News.

“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.”

El Paso Police warned the public to stay away from Cielo Vista Mall, causing a panic in the community.

@EPPoLICE / Twitter

Cielo Vista Mall is a large complex, which includes a movie theater, a bus terminal, a Sam’s Club store and many more businesses. It’s a hub for the border community. The mall was on lockdown in response to the neighboring Walmart shooting, but the property owner confirms that no shots were fired in the mall itself.

Warning: the following images are graphic.

Patrick Crusius’ Twitter account confirms that he is a Trump supporter who advocated for the border wall.

@_KarateChris / Twitter

Images of Crusius carrying a rifle from Walmart security cameras have been released. His Twitter handle is @outsider609, and of the account’s 22 tweets, the vast majority are in support for Trump’s agenda.

Crusius tweeted, “#BuildTheWall is the best way that @POTUS has worked to secure our country so far!” in January 2017.

Crusius’ social media accounts have been deleted while authorities review for motive.

@CZylegs51340 / Twitter

He turned 21 years old this week. “Another right wing extremist motivated by xenophobia,” tweets @WheresMyArk_23. If this is the case, this will be the second white supremacist motivated mass shooting in two weeks.

The alleged manifesto has not been confirmed to be of Crusius’ writing just yet.

GRAPHIC: Survivors are sharing videos and photos of their experience online.

@GageGoulding / Twitter

Police have not released any information about Crusius’ motive for the attack. All we know is that he lived in a border community and his online personality advocated for building a wall that would keep Mexicans out.

Walmart expressed “shock,” but America is past shock.

@WALMART / Twitter

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, and has often been referred to as the world’s largest gun retailer. Over the years, as shootings continue to escalate, Walmart has self-regulated by discontinuing the sales of handguns, and eliminating all weapons sales in two thirds of its stores. It continues to sell rifles.

President Trump tweeted about the “terrible” shooting and 14 minutes later wished a wrestling champion luck.

@ERICKFERNANDEZ / Twitter

Americans are expressing frustration with seeing even the President of the United States move on from the news. #GunReformNow is trending for the second time this week as the public continues to demand action from Congress.

Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott is currently under fire for his close relationship with the National Rifle Association.

@BJOEWOLF / Twitter

The NRA “grades” politicians’ policies on gun rights. The more guns and looser restrictions, the higher the grade. Greg Abbott has an A+ rating from the NRA.

Latinos are dying. Americans are dying.

@MINKOKOTWEETS / Twitter

Shaun King reported that, “Did you know that the United States is the ONLY nation in the world that has more guns than people? We have 122 guns for every 100 people. No other nation has 100. Or 90. Or 80. Or 70. Or 60 guns per 100 people. In fact, only 1 other nation has more than 40. War-torn YEMEN.

Are we safe yet? Mitú will continue to report as this story develops.

Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

Things That Matter

Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

Jay Heike / Unsplash

A school shooting in Mexico is shaking the country. An 11-year-old boy entered his private school in Torreón with two handguns and killed a teacher, injured 5 classmates, and killed himself. Authorities believe that a videogame is to blame for the violence.

Mexican authorities are blaming an online video game for the school shooting this morning in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico.

Credit: @AnnaDay03449248 / Twitter

Authorities believe that the boy was influenced by the online game Natural Selection. According to reports, the boy went to school and told some of his pupils that “today is the day.” According to Daily Mail, the student asked to go to the bathroom to change his pants. When he didn’t return in 15 minutes, the teacher went looking for him. That is when she found him in the hallway hold two handguns. He shot and killed the teacher and injured 5 classmates and a male P.E. teacher before killing himself.

The conversation of gun control touched Mexico after the deadly shooting of 31 people in El Paso, Texas. The 21-year-old gunman of the El Paso shooting reportedly chose a powerful AK-style rifle to commit what is being called “the deadliest attack targeting Latinos in recent U.S. history.” However, these types of weapons have also made their way across the U.S.-Mexico border where many are being brought there illegally by mostly American citizens.

In 2018, the homicide rate in Mexico hit a record high of 35,964, which is up 12 percent from the year before, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Of those killings, at least 20,005 were gun-related deaths.

Credit: @bejaminnorton / Twitter

As the number of homicides has risen in Mexico due to gun violence there is a growing sense of urgency from Mexican officials to see something get done. The AK-47 has been known to be the gun of choice for cartel groups and is being used to kill countless Mexican citizens, every week. 

As these powerful assault rifles make their way illegally from the U.S. into Mexico, they are being used in cartel-related violence and drug trafficking efforts. The overwhelming majority of guns used by drug cartels in the country’s deadly turf come illegally from the U.S., since the Mexican army is the only legal seller in the country.

According to the San Diego Union- Tribune, the illegal trafficking of these powerful weapons has fueled the already increasingly dangerous and deadly conditions in the country. The underground market for the weapons is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and will only keep rising. 

Jack Riley, a retired DEA agent, told the Union-Tribune that these cartel groups are choosing these U.S.-made weapons for two primary reasons: their efficiency and because the weapons are a status symbol. He also says that the majority of these funneled weapons are passing through Mexican ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, which includes on the busiest, the San Ysidro-Tijuana port.

“It is really important to these criminal organizations, who stay in business by the threat of violence and through the use of violence; and the tools that they prefer to do that with are American-made guns,” Riley told the Union-Tribune. “There is a tremendous market for them and unfortunately there’s a ton of people in the United States willing to do business with some of the cartels.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is now urging the United States to “control the indiscriminate sale of weapons” after recent mass shootings.

Credit: @jennfranconews / Twitter

The shooting in El Paso, Texas has prompted President Lopez Obrador to put pressure on the U.S. to curb the gun proliferation that is now taking the lives of Mexican citizens. He has also mentioned that the Mexican government was looking into the possibility of accusing the El Paso shooter of “terrorism” and requesting his extradition to face charges in Mexico.

“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events, which occurred in the U.S., should lead to reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of weapons,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference in Mexico City last Monday.

Similar to the U.S., citizens in Mexico have the same right to bear arms but when it comes to the sale of weapons, the country has tighter restrictions. Most citizens are only able to purchase lighter handguns or nothing more powerful than a .38 caliber gun as assault weapons are banned. Also, the sale of weapons from one citizen to another is prohibited.

The numbers show that the gun problem in America had crossed over across the border as 70 percent of guns seized across all of Mexico have U.S. origins, According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Credit: @frankluntz / Twitter

Mexico is in the midst of turbulent times as the number of people murdered hit more than 33,000 people last year, a record high. This was especially the case for Tijuana, where the popular tourist city that saw more than 2,500 homicides just last year. This gave the city the unwanted distinction and title of “the most violent city in the world,” where almost every single gun that was seized by police since 2016 came from the U.S., according to the city’s chief of police.

There is an “importance of going after both of these things, not just immigration, narcotics, the flow of illegal money, but the tools with which these criminal organizations rely,” Riley told the Tribune. “And for far too long there hasn’t been enough emphasis both by the Mexicans and to a certain extent by us, for a variety of political reasons, to really go after the gun smugglers.”

Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

READ: This Heartbreaking Interview With An 11-Year-Old Girl Sees Her Pleading For Her Parents To Not Be Deported

Students Under Investigation After Flashing White Power Symbols On National TV During Army/Navy Football Game

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Students Under Investigation After Flashing White Power Symbols On National TV During Army/Navy Football Game

@TheTNHoller / Twitter

The United States Military Academy has opened a formal investigation into whether Army cadets and Navy midshipmen flashed white power symbols during a nationally televised broadcast of the Army-Navy football game Saturday. At least three individuals flashed the upside-down “ok” hand gesture, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate symbol meant to signify “white power.” Footage of the gestures went viral on Twitter as folks circulated allegations that the military students were flashing white power symbols on nationally televised media “because they fully understand that most people in the dominant society share their views, and there will be no serious punishment against them.” President Trump attended the game and visited both locker rooms before the start of the match.

“The United States Military Academy is fully committed to developing leaders of character who embody the Army values,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, The United States Military Academy’s superintendent, said in a statement. Meanwhile, Naval Academy officials appointed a preliminary inquiry officer to head up the internal investigation. 

Twitter is calling for the expulsion of the students who flashed the symbol, which seemed especially telling when flashed behind the head of a black cadet.

CREDIT: @BIGKAHUNAVAN / TWITTER

Two cadets clearly flash white power hand signals; one of them does it right behind the head of a black cadet. This is on live TV at the Army-Navy game. The @NavalAcademy should kick these students out,” one Twitter user called out. Another person wants to expel them and fine them for the taxpayer dollars that went toward their education thus far. “Imagine how these young black men will feel when they see this footage of their classmates flashing white power signals directly behind their heads. This is shameful and horrific behavior,” comments another user. 

Meanwhile, others are saying that the gestures are far more sophomoric. “IT’S THE FREAKING CIRCLE GAME!,” tweeted one POC. The alleged game is based on tricking someone into looking at the hand gesture which would allow you to playfully punch that person. If you ever played the VW Beetle game as a kid, it’s pretty similar. Others don’t buy it. “Right behind the head of the black guy? Come on…” asks one user. “I ain’t buying it either. If it were true, the black guy or other minorities would be playing the “game” as well. Funny, the “game” signal givers hands are NEVER BROWN. Why’s that now?” asks another Twitter user.

That said, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) details a much more insidious and increasingly common use of the “O.K.” hand gesture that began in 2017.

CREDIT: @GININATEACUP1 / TWITTER

Both the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League have described the symbol as hate speech. White nationalists first started using the symbol because of how it creates a “W” and a “P” to denote “white power.” In 2017, internet gateway to the alt-right, 4chan, started disseminating the symbol as a way to “trigger liberals.” SPLC says that the symbol is a “deliberate attempt to “trigger liberals” into overreacting to a gesture so widely used that virtually anyone has plausible deniability built into their use of it in the first place.” According to SPLC, the hoax started when the following post went viral: “We must flood twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand signal is a symbol of white supremacy. Make fake accounts with basic white girl names and type shit like: OMG that’s so truuuuu…” It seems to be working. 

Before the 4chan hoax went viral and spread to anyone who was simply anti-liberal, it was used by alt-right figures and white nationalists. In fact, the white supremacist who murdered over 50 worshippers in the Christchurch mosque flashed the symbol in court.

Plausible deniability remains the crux of the issue. The “O.K.” signal is so ubiquitous, it makes it difficult to prove malicious intent.

CREDIT: @HAMDIA_AHMED / TWITTER

Still, at least three different young men flashed the symbol on national television this weekend, knowing President Trump was in the audience. Several Trump supporters have expressed glee in using the symbol simply because of its underlying intent to prove liberals and minorities as triggered.

Military officials feel its “inappropriate” to speculate any further on the students’ intent while the investigation is underway. 

CREDIT: @HAMDIA_AHMED / TWITTER

The SPLC cites the use of the “O.K.” hand gesture as a ploy to “trigger” liberals as participation in a “toxic subculture.” The Center cites such a troll as someone with a “direct gateway not just to the alt-right, but also to even more poisonous cultures such as that of woman-hating “incels.” The Center says that “it’s easy” for a simple “troll” to morph into a white supremacist surreptitiously signaling your presence to other white supremacists.

READ: A Family At Universal Studios Had Their Trip Ruined By A Character From ‘Despicable Me’ Who Flashed A White Power Symbol