A mass shooting in a shopping centre in El Paso, Texas, has left at least 20 people dead and 26 injured.
The gunman, named as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, opened fire on customers in a Walmart store near the Cielo Vista Mall in the border town.
Police are investigating a so-called ‘manifesto’ believed to have been posted online by Crusius before the shooting that reportedly referred to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and a believe that white people would soon be “ethnically replaced”.
The massacre came as another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, left 10 people including the gunman dead.
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 4, 2019
The gunman first opened fire with an AK47-style assault rifle in the car park outside the Walmart store, before walking inside as if he was “on a mission” and continuing to shoot.
Adriana Quezada, 39, who was in the women's clothing section of Walmart with her two children when the shooting happened, said: "I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction.
She and her 19-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son threw themselves to the ground then fled the store through an emergency exit.
In what has become the eighth deadliest mass shooting in US history, at least 20 people were killed in the 20-minute massacre and 26 injured, with victims' ages ranging from 35 to 82.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen described the scene as “horrific”, saying many of the injuries suffered by victims in the attack were life-threatening.
The gunman, identified by law enforcement officials as Crusius, was arrested without incident at the scene.
Police are now investigating whether a 2,300 online ‘manifesto’, attributed to ‘P.Crucius’, is by the gunman.
In the post - which has since been removed - the author wrote: “F*** this is going to be so s*** but I can't wait any longer. I'm probably going to die today.”
The document said referred to the influc of Hispanic people into Texas, suggesting that it would make the state a “democratic stronghold”.
The author also claimed that they had held the views for years - long before Donald Trump became president.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Allen said: “Right now we have a manifesto from this individual - that indicates to some degree - it has a nexus to potential hate crime.”
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....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2019
Mr Trump described the mass shooting as “tragic” and an “act of cowardice”.
He tweeted: “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.”
Texas governor Greg Abbott called the shooting “a heinous and senseless act of violence”.
Rock band Blink-182 were ‘locked down’ in a hotel following the shooting.
Bassist Mark Hoppus said the band - who were due to play a show at the UTEP Don Haskins Arena in El Paso - were leaving breakfast and due to head to the mall when they heard reports of the shooting.
The shooting is the 21st mass killing in the United States in 2019, and the fifth public mass shooting.