El Paso shooting labelled 'domestic terrorism' case

The horrific mass shooting at a shopping center in Texas that killed 20 is now being treated as domestic terrorism.
8:38 | 08/05/19

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Transcript for El Paso shooting labelled 'domestic terrorism' case
in just 13 hours. At least 29 people killed in separate massacres. One here in Texas. The other of course in Ohio. We have been to so many of these and the words are hard to come by to describe the anguish and the sadness on the faces of the families whose lives have been destroyed. The gunman showing up on a busy Saturday morning. The images showing the suspect armed with an assault style rifle. Families diving for cover from the gun fire inside that store. There were thousands inside the wall mashtd running in fear. I was told just today about children who ran for their lives on their own. Stores nearby on lockdown. As police search for the gunman. First responders helping the wounded and discovering the dead. So many lives lost here. 20 dead and at least 26 injured. I talked to the police chief moments ago and what he revealed about the possible motive. While the suspect drove 600 miles to get here. Go, go, go. Come on. Reporter: Terrified shoppers, their hands up in the air, running for their lives past police. Evacuating an El Paso mall. The first call coming in at 10:39 Saturday morning. There was chaos. Some recording their escapes and posting online. S.W.A.T. Teams responding to reports of an active shooter and they realize the gun fire is inside the Walmart. Start responding in Walmart. Busting guns in Walmart right now. Aks, somebody got shot. Reporter: Inside that Walmart, thousands of shoppers and 100 employees. It is a busy morning. Parents, grandparents, children, buys their back to school supplies. Make it to the Walmart please. Reporter: Tonight, authorities say 21-year-old Patrick cruisus was armed with a rifle, and saying he was trying to shoot as many Mexicans as possible. The mall here in El Paso is just five miles from the u.s.-mexico border. Community shots here and so do residents of nearby Juarez, they come here to shop. The gunman just shooting his way in. He just walked into Walmart very confidently. It looked like he was on a mission. Reporter: These surveillance images obtained by KTSM show the alleged gunman walking through entrance with his weapon pointed straight ahead, wearing ear protection and tactical glasses. Inside, shoppers and family members crawling under benches. The gun fire relentless. Kendall long and his wife Kianna. She seen people running in, yelling, "Shooter, shooter." So we take off running. After he sees people start running, you could hear the different fire right. Trigger finger, he's is right, going, going, going. Reporter: They run to the back of the store, hiding in a metal storage container. There's babies there, there's kids. There's people calling their family. People calling the cops. Reporter: Outside, the entire area on lockdown. The entire area is being searched as we speak. Reporter: Authorities at the time were not sure if there was more than one shooter. Adria Gonzalez was shopping with her mother. She said it was a normal morning, until she heard the gun go off. We heard like shots -- three shots. Boom, boom, boom. One, two, three. Reporter: She told her mother to get down. When she looked up, the suspect with a gun in his tactical gear, just 15 feet away. He just started to shoot just started to shoot, and what I did -- my first instinct was to get people out of there. There was this senior citizen lady that I tried to help and I couldn't, and I just told her to move faster and she couldn't move faster so I left her there. And I needed to get out because the shooter was getting closer and closer and so I was just -- I just told her to get down and hide. Reporter: When they finally got outside, they saw the bodies. The gunshots continued. In the parking lot, confusion and panic. She would have called. She has seven kids. 20 something grandchildren, and I don't know how many great grandchildren. Reporter: In this desperate plea, Edie Hallberg searching for her mother, Angie, 86 years old and missing. I got tired of just waiting and waiting and waiting. I just want to know where my mom Reporter: We still have not heard if she found her mother. Inside that store, first responders helping the wounded. This woman covered in blood. Another woman wheeled out in a shopping cart. It appeared she was shot in the leg. The police chief here in El Paso at a loss for words. You have to see it for yourself. When I first got into this job, I never knew there was an odor to blood, but there is. And until you first hand see that, my description of it as far as horrific would be unswerving as far as what that scene looks like. Reporter: About 20 minutes after that first shot was fired, they have the suspect in custody. So far we have one subject and he is in custody. Reporter: Police apprehending the suspect a few blocks from the scene. Leading him away in handcuffs. Right now we have a manifesto from the individual, and it has an nexus of a hate crime. Authorities say the assault style rifle and several magazines recovered at the scene. Law enforcement telling ABC news, crusius is from Allen, Texas. 600 miles away from El Paso, nearly a ten hour drive. Sl and late today, the police chief here with us. He came to El Paso. Nearly 600 miles. Was it the makeup of the community? The proximity of the border? I think both. I think both. Reporter: Tonight, authorities and officials here warning something must be done. This individual came not from within the community but outside of it. In this country, we have a gun violence epidemic but we also have a hate epidemic. Until we confront that hate and until we confront the weak gun laws that we have, we're going to keep seeing this. Reporter: At the centers where families are gathering and the hospitals, the anguish. Familying still anxious for news. We haven't heard a word where he is. Reporter: Leta jamrowski is just 19 years old, pleading for help. Asking if anyone has seen her brother-in-law, Andre. They looked all night but haven't found him. Tonight, they are still looking. We're just trying to put the word out there, if anybody's heard from him or -- if anybody hears anything, just give us a call. We're worried. We want to make sure he's okay. Reporter: The search coming after her family heard the unthinkable. Her 25-year-old sister, Jordan, mother of three, was killed. They believe she was shielding her 2-year-old son from the gun fire. Her sister says, from the baby's injuries, they think she was trying to shield him. So when she got shot, she was holding him and fell him him. That is why he broke some of his bones but he lived because she gave her life. That little boy among the youngest victims here ranging in age from 2 to senior citizens. The toll here is staggering. 20 dead and more than two dozen injured. What drove him? Was it hate? Apparently so. Tonight the justice department says they are going to pursue hate crime charges here? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. The manifesto pretty much validated there was hate intent in what he did. So the writing in the manifesto match what he is telling -- Pretty so much. The police chief Alan here with us today. The chief along with so many leaders in this community were universal in their language

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