Joel Riley

Joel Riley

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President Trump on mass shootings

President Trump addressed the nation from the White House Monday (August 5th) after the two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, speaking out against "hate" and saying the nation, quote, "must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy." His remarks came as the death toll in El Paso rose to 22 with the death of two injured people, increasing the total for both incidents to 31. Trump cited social media, violent video games and mental illness as having blame for the increase in mass shootings, but didn't name guns or mention any new gun legislation, which Democratic lawmakers are calling for. Trump did call for bipartisan solutions to the problem, but gave few details. Amid the Democratic call for action on guns, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'd encouraged GOP committee leaders to look for bipartisan solutions, quote, "to protect our communities without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights."

Trump:["The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul."]  

["The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored. We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace."]

["We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."]  

Meanwhile, El Paso Republican Mayor Dee Margo announced that Trump would be visiting on Wednesday, angering some residents of the largely Latino city and local Democratic leaders who believe his rhetoric to be partly to blame for the shooting. The 21-year-old shooter, Patrick Crusius, is believed to have posted a racist screed online before the attack in which he decried what he called an "invasion" of Hispanics crossing the border, that and other content in it similar to language that's been used by Trump. Margo defended welcoming the president, saying, "I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the president of the United States." Although the White House hadn't announced the trip, the Federal Aviation Administration has advised pilots of a presidential visit Wednesday to both El Paso and Dayton.

New Developments:

El Paso:

  • Fifteen people remain hospitalized, two of them in critical condition.
  • Police Chief Greg Allen said that after Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his suburban Dallas home to El Paso he got lost Saturday in a neighborhood before ending up at the Walmart where the shooting took place, quote, "because, we understand, he was hungry." Allen said the gun used was legally bought, and while he didn't say what kind of weapon it was, the ammunition he described is the kind used in high-powered rifles.
  • Crusius, who is being held without bond, applied for a public defender, saying he is unemployed with no income or assets.


  • Surveillance video released yesterday shows that the 24-year-old shooter, Connor Betts, was fatally shot by police just as he was about to go into a bar where dozens of people had piled in after the shooting began on a street in the popular nightlife district early Sunday morning.
  • Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said in a press conference that they are, quote, "not close enough at all" to determining Betts' motive, but even though the majority of the nine victims were black, said, "we're not seeing at this time any indication of race as a motive."
  • Former classmates who have said Betts was suspended from high school for having a "hit list" of students he wanted to kill and a "rape list" for girls were questioning why he'd been allowed to buy weapons with that history.

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