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31 Killed In Two Mass Shootings 12 Hours Apart In Ohio, Texas

The area outside a bar in the historic Oregon District in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed and 37 injured in the 250th mass shooting in the United States this year.
The area outside a bar in the historic Oregon District in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed and 37 injured in the 250th mass shooting in the United States this year. Photo Credit: WHIO-TV

This story has been updated.

Separate mass shootings 12 hours apart left 31 people dead and dozens injured in Ohio and Texas.

The first shooting happened at a Walmart at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, just after 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 local time (and 1 p.m. Eastern time). In that incident, 22 people were killed and 26 injured.

It is unclear why the 21-year-old suspect taken into custody, who is from the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas, targeted El Paso, on the border of Mexico, and about 650 miles away.

Less than an hour before the gunman opened fire, police said they believe he posted a four-page document online that espoused racist and white nationalist views and spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The FBI has reportedly opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the massacre, and authorities are looking at the possibility of bringing capital murder charges against him.  El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said. the case has the "nexus to a potential hate crime." 

At around 1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, another gunman opened fire in the historic Oregon District in downtown Dayton, Ohio, known for its trendy restaurants and bars.

Police officers on routine patrol in the district shot and killed the suspect wearing body armor less than a minute after the first shots were fired outside a bar. A total of nine people were killed and 37 injured. The suspect used a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle and was carrying extra magazines, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in an early morning press conference Sunday.

"The officers were there less than a minute from the beginning of the shooting," Whaley said. "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. ... It is a terrible day for Dayton, but I am so grateful for Dayton police's fast action."

Whaley said there were thousands of people in the Oregon District at the time of the shooting and hundreds could have been killed had the gunman, described as a man in his 20s from a town outside the city, not be taken out.

"It is a terrible day for Dayton, but I am so grateful for Dayton Police's fast action," Whaley said.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation. 

The number of mass shootings across the United States in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year (216), with the Dayton incident marking the 250th of the year.

"This is going to be a very difficult time for 10 families in our community, and maybe many more," Whaley said. "Their lives will never be the same. I don't think anything I say can help their loved ones. But we can be there for them."

"The question has to be raised, why does Dayton have to be the 250th mass shooting in America?" Whaley asked. "El Paso was 249, Dayton is 250 this year. That's really the question. When is this country going to have had enough?"

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