The suspect of the Texas massacre that left at least 20 dead reportedly posted a hate-filled, racist online manifesto before the murderous attack.
Reports have identified the shooter at the Walmart in El Paso as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas.
A document was posted on a website about 90 minutes before the rampage in which the suspect spoke of an ‘invasion’ of Latino immigrants to his country.
A Twitter account belonging to Crusius was shut down on Saturday evening.
Tweets on the account had praised President Donald Trump and, in particular, his effort to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The authorities have not publicly confirmed the suspect’s identity following the mass shooting near the Cielo Vista Mall.
The police are now treating the attack as a hate crime.
CCTV footage shows the gunman as he enters the Cielo Vista Walmart store in El Paso (Picture: AFP)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said: ‘We’re going to aggressively prosecute it both as capital murder but also as a hate crime, which is exactly what it appears to be.’
As many as 3,000 people were shopping at the time during the busy Saturday morning. The mall is about five miles from the main border checkpoint with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
CCTV images said to be of the gunman and broadcast on US media show a man in a dark T-shirt wearing ear protectors and brandishing an assault-style rifle. Police have swarmed around a house identified as belonging to the Crusius family in Allen, a mostly white suburb of Dallas – some 650 miles east of the shooting. It would have been a nine-hour drive for the alleged shooter to the Walmart, where the deadly spree happened.
Neighbours described Crusius as ‘very much a loner, very stand-offish’ and ‘someone who didn’t interact a whole lot with anyone.’ Former classmate at Plano Senior High School, Jacob Wilson, said the suspect was ‘very strong-minded’ in class and would try to ‘take charge.’ However, other kids refused to work with him because he was ‘irritable and had a short temper.’ Mr Wilson added Crusius was often ‘picked on’ because of how he spoke and because he wore hand-me-down clothes. The ‘manifesto’ said to have been written by Crusius spoke of the ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas.’
It referred to the ‘Great Replacement’ which is the white supremacist theory that claims people of European descent are being overwhelmed.
The ‘manifesto’ said that both Democrat and Republicans were ‘failing’ the US.
And it also voiced support for the suspect in the Christchurch mosque shooting, in which 51 people were killed in two consecutive attacks in March. Facebook and Instagram are said to be working with the police to remove any social accounts linked to Crusius.