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Death toll in US shooting incident rises to 36

abcNews


The death toll from a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, increased to 22 after two more victims died in the hospital, police said.

David Shimp, chief executive officer at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, said one patient died late Sunday night and another Monday morning.

The victims were among more than two dozen people wounded in the massacre that erupted about 10:39 a.m. local time Saturday inside a Walmart crowded with shoppers, including children and parents drawn to a back-to-school sale.

Alvaro Mena confirmed to ABC News that his father, 78-year-old Juan Valazquez, died Monday morning.

Mena said his family is “devastated” by the loss of his father and are now afraid for their own lives after police said the suspect told investigators he was out to kill as many Mexicans as he could.

“We are afraid to go out,” Mena said. “We are afraid to go out into the streets because we feel like we are being hunted because of skin color.”

Those wounded in the mass shooting ranged in age from 2 years old to 82, according to authorities.

Mena said his both his mother and father were shot outside the Walmart when they went to the store to exchange merchandise they had purchased there. He said he believes the gunman targeted his parents because they are Hispanic.

He said his mother remains in the hospital and is expected to survive.

Dr. Stephen Flaherty, director of trauma at Del Sol Medical Center, said the second patient who died was an elderly woman.

Both patients suffered “major and devastating” wounds that were consistent with high-velocity gunshots, he added.

“We are truly heartbroken to have to be here to report this,” said Flaherty, his voice cracking with emotion.

He said he could only speak of the female victim who died.

“The patient had major intra-abdominal injuries affecting the liver, the kidney and the intestines,” Flaherty said. “She received massive blood transfusion, utilizing all types of blood products.”

Shimp added that six other wounded victims remain at Del Sol Medical Center, one in critical condition and five in stable condition. He said two other patients were discharged and one was transferred to another local hospital.

News of the latest death came just hours after the El Paso County Coroner’s Officer removed the last victim’s body from the premises.

The suspect was identified by authorities as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas. He is being held on a charge of capital murder, court records show.

John Bash, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said Sunday that federal authorities are investigating the incident as an act of “domestic terrorism,” meaning the suspect was allegedly intent on “coercing and intimidating a civilian population.”

Bash said federal authorities are also considering bringing hate crimes and federal firearms charges against Crusius that carry the penalty of death.

Police said Crusius drove more than 600 miles from his home in the Dallas area to El Paso to kill as many Mexicans as he could.

Investigators also believe Crusius is the same man who allegedly posted a four-page racist, anti-immigrant document on the dark website 8chan before launching the attack, officials said.

“We consider this an act of terrorism against the Mexican-American community and the Mexicans living in the United States,” Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said in a video statement.

At least seven of the 20 people killed were Mexican nationals, and nine additional Mexicans were among those wounded, Ebrard said.

Ebrard called the shooting an “act of barbarism.”