Pete Buttigieg, 2020 White House hopeful and South Bend, Indiana, mayor on Saturday reacted to the deadly shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart, claiming the United States is “under attack” from “homegrown, white nationalist terrorism.”
“America is under attack from homegrown, white nationalist terrorism,” Buttigieg said in his opening statement before the AFSCME 2020 Public Service Forum in Las Vegas. “We have to talk and act about two things in this country: first of all, we are the only country in the world with more guns than people. It has not made us safer. We can respect the Second Amendment and not allow it to be a death sentence for thousands of Americans.”
“Number two, white nationalism is evil,” the Sound Bend mayor continued. “It is inspiring people to commit murder and it is being condoned at the highest levels of the American government and it has got to end.”
El Paso law enforcement has yet to confirm the suspected shooter’s motive, rendering Buttigieg’s pronouncement premature.
At least 24 people were shot, several of them fatally, and one suspect was arrested at a Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, Texas, Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Police arrested Patrick Crusius, a white male in his early 20s, in connection with the mass shooting, spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez said. Several media sources confirmed that the suspect lives in Allen, Texas, about 650 miles from El Paso.
Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez said initial reports were that the gunman used a rifle, but that hasn’t been confirmed, Gomez said.
“At this time we have ruled out multiple shooters,” Gomez said. Multiple victims have been taken to different hospitals, a University Medical Center of El Paso, hospital spokesman Ryan Mielke said. UMC received at least 13 victims with “level one” injuries, which is the most serious level. One of them died, Mielke said. At least two of the victims transported to UMC were children. Another 11 victims were taken to Del Sol Medical Center, spokesman Victor Guerrero said.
El Paso police put out an urgent call for blood on Twitter.
“Multiple injured transported to various hospitals,” El Paso tweeted. “Blood donation centers Vitalent Blood Services at 424 S. Mesa Hills and 133 N. Zaragoza.”
Blood needed urgently. Multiple injured transported to various hospitals. Blood donation centers Vitalent Blood Services at 424 s Mesa Hills and 133 N Zaragoza
— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) August 3, 2019
The UPI contributed to this report.