The gunman who allegedly killed 20 people and injured dozens of others at a crowded mall in El Paso, Texas, USA on Saturday morning was incited by an intense hatred for immigrants and Mexicans, according to a “manifesto” published online moments before the deadly attack.
Concise News reports that authorities said the writings emanated from the gunman, identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, and had been attributed “directly to him.”
The 2,300-word manifesto was posted to the imageboard website 8chan before Crusius allegedly began firing at customers inside a Walmart and other stores at the Cielo Vista shopping centre on Saturday morning.
The writings from the suspected shooter said the attack was in response to a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, warning that the population will make Texas and other states a “Democrat stronghold” that will allow the party to win future presidential elections.
“They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” the document read.
The suspected shooter also wrote that immigration can only be detrimental to the future of the United States and “make one of the biggest issues of our time, automation, so much worse.”
“It makes no sense to keep on letting millions of illegal or legal immigrants flood into the United States, and to keep the tens of millions that are already here,” the manifesto said.
At least six Mexican nationals were killed in the shooting, according to Mexico’s Reforma newspaper.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard also threatened legal action to ensure that Mexicans in the US are protected.
The Justice Department said Sunday it is treating the mass shooting as a “domestic terrorism case” and exploring a hate crime connection.
“We’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice,” said US Attorney John Bash.
The manifesto on 8chan further said: “Some people will blame the president (Donald Trump) or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case.
“I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that.”
When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in 2015, he claimed Mexicans were “rapists” who are “bringing drugs and crime” to the US.
In the years since, the president has frequently uttered anti-immigrant statements and his administration has sought to decrease the number of legal and undocumented immigrants in the country.
Social media profiles that belonged to Crusius and checked by this online news medium reinforced his identity as a withdrawn loner with few friends and who embraced racist, anti-immigrant beliefs.
Using the Twitter handle @outsider609, Crusius advocated for Trump’s wall on the Mexico border and frequently liked the president’s tweets and those who supported him.
The account, which was created in 2016 and suspended after the shooting, was largely inactive and had few followers.
Crusius’s Facebook page contained little information other than a profile picture showing a scowling 21-year-old in thin, wire-rimmed glasses from June 10, 2017. He had three friends, including his twin sister.
Crusius briefly attended Liberty High School before transferring to and graduating from Plano Senior High School in 2017, according to the school district.