Police in Texas are investigating a possible link between a 21-year-old white male suspected of killing at least 20 people inside an El Paso Walmart, and an anti-immigrant manifesto shared online minutes before the shooting.
The four-page manifesto, shared on the message board 8chan, called the Walmart attack "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." That possible motive linking the Walmart massacre to a series of attacks by suspected white nationalists in the last year targeting immigrants, Jews, and Muslims from Christchurch to Pittsburgh to Poway, California.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BETO O'ROURKE, SAYING: "The president not only tolerates, but invites the kind of racism and hatred that not only offends us but changes who we are as a country, and produces the kind of violence that we saw in El Paso." On Sunday, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke drew a direct link between the anti-immigrant violence and the rhetoric coming from the White House.
That was soon followed by Democratic presidential contenders Cory Booker and Julian Castro accusing the president of fanning the flames of bigotry and hate.
President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned the shooting in El Paso, saying it 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..." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: (MAY 8, 2019) "This is an invasion." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: (FEBRUARY 15, 2019) "We're talking about an invasion of our country." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: (NOVEMBER 4, 2018) "Because you look at what's marching up, that's not, that's an invasion folks.
That's an invasion." Donald Trump has repeatedly described Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S. as an invasion, and on Twitter blamed Democrats for encouraging it.
Here's the president at a rally in Florida this past May... (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: (MAY 8, 2019) TRUMP: "But how do you stop these people?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: "Shoot them!" TRUMP: [CHUCKLES] "That's only in the panhandle you can get away with that." Police say the Walmart shooter is from a Dallas suburb, at least 10 hours away from El Paso, which sits on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The crossing between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez is one of the busiest along the international boundary, and together with Las Cruces, New Mexico, forms the largest bi-national, bi-lingual metropolitan area in North America.
If the massacre appears to be racially or politically motivated, he could face federal hate crime or terrorism charges.
Texas officials on Sunday said they planned to seek the death penalty.