The man suspected of killing at least 22 people and injuring about two dozen others in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, may have written a manifesto claiming the attack was racially motivated and aimed at Hispanic people.
In a press conference Saturday, law enforcement officials said they were exploring whether a four-page manifesto titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” posted to the extremist online forum 8chan shortly before the shooting, was written by suspect Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man from a town near Dallas.
Crusius allegedly walked into a Walmart in El Paso late Saturday morning and opened fire on shoppers and employees. Security footage of the scene shows a man entering the building and holding a long firearm.
The manifesto describes a mass attack as a response “to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
“They are the instigators, not me,” it says. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
The manifesto includes overwhelmingly racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric. HuffPost has reviewed the manifesto but will not provide a link to it.
In the document, Hispanic people are denounced as “invaders.” The writer expresses disgust with “race-mixing” and diversity in general, and blames Democrats, Republicans and “Corporate America” for continued immigration into the U.S. It claims Mexican immigrants are a threat to the job market, and accuses them of attempting a “political coup” in Texas.
The document argues interracial relationships are a reason to “send them back,” referring to second and third-generation Mexican-Americans.
Those words are similar to racist chants by supporters of President Donald Trump who yelled “send her back” during a campaign rally last month in North Carolina in response to the president’s feud with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Somali American immigrant. Days before that rally, Trump urged four Democratic congresswomen of color ― Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) ― to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The three other lawmakers all were born in America.
The manifesto expresses support for the suspect in the massacre at the Christchurch mosque in New Zealand in March, which targeted the Muslim community, and a manifesto written in connection with that mass murder in which 51 people were killed.
During a press conference on Saturday, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said the manifesto posted just before the El Paso shooting was “fueled by hate.”
“It’s fueled by racism and bigotry and division,” said Escobar, whose district is based in El Paso.
“This is someone who came from outside of our community to do us harm,” she said, noting that El Paso is “a community that has shown nothing but generosity and kindness to the least among us, those people arriving at America’s front door.”
This story has been updated after the death toll increased Monday morning.