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El Paso Walmart, Dayton mass shootings within hours of each other: What we know

Rachel Tesler

Twenty people were confirmed killed and more than 26 people were injured in a mass shooting at an El Paso shopping center on Saturday, and at least nine people died in a separate shooting in a Dayton, Ohio bar district just hours later.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT DAYTON, OHIO

Nine people are dead after a shooting in Dayton, Ohio outside the city’s popular downtown area. The incident occurred at 1 a.m. ET on Sunday. The suspect also is dead, according to police.

Dayton Deputy Director and Assistant Chief of Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper identified the gunman as 24-year-old Connor Betts. His sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, was among the nine killed, according to Carper, who added that al of those killed during the rampage were shot in the city's Oregon District around Fifth Street.

The suspect was allegedly on his way to a bar called Ned Peppers when he began shooting multiple rounds from a “long gun” on East 5th Street. The bar posted on its Instagram page in the aftermath of the tragic event.

At a press conference Sunday morning, Mayor Nan Whaley said the shooter used a ".223 high-capacity" gun and had additional magazines with him. The .223 caliber is used in rifles like the AR-15-style assault rifle used in previous mass shootings.

Based on his arsenal, authorities believe the suspect intended the damage to be catastrophic.

"The shooter was able to kill nine people and injure 26 in less than a minute. And if we did not have police in the Oregon District and the thousands of people in the Oregon District enjoying their Saturday evening, what we could have had in this city," Whaley said.

Most victims are being treated at Miami Valley Hospital, with no less than 13 people being treated.

Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement he was "absolutely heartbroken" and has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. The White House followed suit with its flags.

The Dayton community planned prayer vigils throughout the day Sunday.

Dayton police are asking that anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information that would help in the investigation call (937) 225-6217.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT EL PASO, TEXAS

"Lives were taken who should still be with us today," Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference near the Walmart and an adjacent shopping mall.

The ages and genders of the victims ranged from the youngest patient brought in for treatment at 2-years-old to the oldest in their 80s. This is reportedly the deadliest mass shooting since the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017.

According to El Paso jail records obtained by KTSM, a local El Paso TV station, a 21-year-old man from Allen, Texas has been charged with capital murder.

The suspect being detained had posted a manifesto, but during the press conference, FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie said a further investigation was needed before determining whether there was a possible hate crime.

The FBI has reportedly opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the massacre, along with the state inquiry and Texas authorities leading the case.

Amongst the dead were three Mexican nationals, according to a tweet from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“I send my condolences to the families of the victims, to both the Americans and Mexicans,” López Obrador wrote. He added that he and the consulate were providing their support. Six Mexicans were also injured, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard’s Twitter.

The first call of an active shooter went out at 10:39 a.m. local time on Saturday and El Paso Police Sgt. Robert Gomez told reporters police were initially given multiple possible locations for the shooting, at the Walmart and the Cielo Vista Mall next door.

President Trump tweeted his support for the city and local authorities on Saturday.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who represented El Paso, tweeted his condolences to those impacted by the tragedies. He canceled all planned campaign events to return to his hometown to "be with friends and family."

He maintained that El Paso's community would rally around each other.

Other democratic presidential candidates spoke out in the aftermath to condemn the violence.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also weighed, tweeting: "My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it's one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act? #ElPaso".

At El Paso’s local blood donation center, the community came together to assist in what Mayor Dee Margo called “the wake of tragedy.” The center was reportedly at max capacity and dozens of more people were waiting to make appointments for Sunday or Monday.

Margo noted with sadness that he was "gearing up for 20 funerals" and wants to ensure that the victim's families know "my heart is breaking. You're in our prayers. We'll do anything we can to support you, and we're all in this together."

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Margo told Fox News that despite the massacre, they are considered one of the safest cities in the nation because of the “remarkable police work” and active shooter drills regularly practiced. He went on to say that he is focused on "making sure that we can bring our city together."

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