this is bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: at least 20 people have been killed after a mass shooting at a shopping mall in texas. ona one day on a day that would have been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping — turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of texas. police fire teargas in hong kong — as anti—government protests continue for the ninth consecutive weekend. president erdogan lays the foundation stone for the first new church in turkey in nearly a hundred years.
hello and welcome to bbc news. 20 people have been killed in a gun attack on a shopping centre in city of el paso. another 26 people have been injured, some are in a critical condition in hospital. police have arrested the suspected gunman, he is a 21—year—old white male named patrick crusius, a resident of the dallas area. the massacre happened at a walmart store near the cielo vista mall in el paso, texas, a few miles from the us—mexican border. the walmart store was full of shoppers at the time. speaking at a news conference in the past half—hour, the police chief of el paso gave more details about what happened.
an active shooter call went out this morning to 911 at 10:39am. police response first officer on the scene was 10:45 a.m., a six minute response time. from this shooter, we have 20 confirmed fertility is and we have 26 wounded. the ages and genders of all these people injured and killed are numerous in the age groups. though... the situation, needless to say is a horrific one. the crime scene is being assisted by the fbi, various law enforcement agencies responding to this scene, the sheriffs department, dps, border
patrol, everyone that carries a barge in this town —— a barge in this town pretty much showed up to that scene. allegedly a manifesto was posted online by the suspected gunmen. the ma nifesto online by the suspected gunmen. the manifesto narrative is fuelled by hay and its is fuelled by racism and bigotry and division. and, it's — i wa nt to bigotry and division. and, it's — i want to say, the national media's watching. el paso has historically been a very safe community. we've been a very safe community. we've been saying for decades. we will continue to be safe. this is someone who came from outside of our community to do us harm. a community that has shown nothing but generosity and kindness to the least among us. those people arriving at america's front door, and so we will wait to see what happens with this investigation. once we have a
determination by law enforcement, then i think you will see a lot of us then i think you will see a lot of us coming together to make some very strong statements. but for now we will let the investigation continue. el paso's may also spoke a short time ago. our community will not be defined by this senseless, evil act of violence. we will be defined by the unity and compassion we showed in the wake of this tragedy. united, our community will be healed. al pasois our community will be healed. al paso is too strong to be broken by a car with the acts like this one. —— a cowardly act. i want to assure the el paso community we are safe. we are safe. let's get the lastest from peter bowes who's in los angeles. peter, we obviously have an updated
death toll. but what more do we know now in the wake of the news conference? well, certainly in the wa ke conference? well, certainly in the wake of the news conference, some of the detail that we heard there, one of the main focuses is now looking ata of the main focuses is now looking at a potential motive. we had the police chief there talk about this anonymous white nationalist ma nifesto anonymous white nationalist manifesto which says essentially the motive here was that it was a targeted attack on hispanics. we know it el paso is a predominantly hispanic town. now, if that was the case, this would be determined to be a hate crime and would be investigated by the fbi. the authorities pointing out that it hasn't been confirmed that there is no posted online was written by the suspect, but they are looking into it very seriously. for now, the investigation is being led by the police in taxes. the authorities in taxes, as a murder investigation. —— texas. but the door is open to the
possibility that it could be considered a hate crime and it would be investigated at a federal level by the fbi. we also heard there from that news conference a bit made of the fact that this shooter wasn't from el paso. yes, he is from a place very close to dallas, which is a long way from el paso, probably a 6- a long way from el paso, probably a 6— eight hour drive. so this is an outsider to the city and you heard the local officials there in the news co nfe re nce the local officials there in the news conference about 30 minutes ago saying this crime wouldn't have been carried out by someone who lived in el paso and that el paso is a very close—knit community indeed. it is often listed as one of the safest communities in texas, indeed, the united states. clearly the authorities will be focusing on the background of the suspect, they will be travelling to his home. no doubt
they will want to look at his computers, his phones, those pieces of equipment if they can be and dissected just to further investigate his potential motive is here. we've also heard from the president of mexico, who has said three of the victims were identified as mexicans. peter bowes there in los angeles, monitoring events for us. thank you very much for that. and of course whenever there is a shooting in the united states there isa shooting in the united states there is a discussion about gun control and this is no different. we can now speak to ed scruggs who is president of anti—gun violence organisation texas gun sense. thank you very much for your time. i just wanted to start with the reaction from people in taxes. it must be very upsetting news of people hearing about the shooting? yes. i would say devastating is more accurate. this is our third mass
shooting in about two years. we had the church in sutherland springs with 26 killed, we had that of a high school new houston last year with tan guild and now this —— ten killed. this is particularly heinous and violent, and as the details come out in the coming hours, i think it will be even more so. this is heartbreaking, but truthfully, i think for many of us in texas right now, the reaction was' been there, done that," too many times. it's like being in an echo chamber, you hear the same complaints over and over and nothing else happens. it's very disheartening. it is an upsetting time for a great many people and we are still getting details and relatively early on in the investigation. but one of the points that the governor made at a news co nfe re nce we points that the governor made at a news conference we just saw was about gun control. he talked about
legislation and debates he's had and he felt that there ought to be more done with mental health issues. what done with mental health issues. what do you say to that? well, if you are ata do you say to that? well, if you are at a news conference with our governor, i hope you realise he was not really being on the level with people. i was in those discussions he talked about that happened after the santa fe shooting. we didn't talk about any gun control, really, any meaningful gun control. they talked about putting more guns in schools and arming more teachers, and that is primarily the major legislation that passed this last session, more armed teachers in schools. they did increase mental health services, which was great, that if you notice when the governor talks, gun violence has nothing to do with guns. it's pretty amazing, it was my call to do with mental health, nothing to do with guns or ammunition. and frankly, that is just something they refused to
discuss. what is really disheartening to me is in that meeting, i sat right next to him, he voiced support for some very commonsense, very minor voiced support for some very commonsense, very minor gun—control measures, that he brought to the table and that he said would help reduce gun violence and when he session came, he abandoned every single one of them and never mention them again. so i don't know how he can show his face today and say that, because he had an opportunity to ta ke that, because he had an opportunity to take a stand against gun violence and he failed! he alt—right failed! again, it is obviously the very early hours of this investigation and this incident —— outright failed. many gun advocates would say the right thing in this situation is for other people to have guns in order to stop these sorts of
shooters? you hear that argument time and time again. and we will hear it again if we aren't already hearing it again. but the issue with thatis, hearing it again. but the issue with that is, really couldn't do to further gun rights in taxes. these three mass shootings have happened ina three mass shootings have happened in a state that has open carry, that has concealed carry, and you can ta ke has concealed carry, and you can take firearms into restaurants, in your car without a license, you can carry them practically everywhere. so they can't see the shooting today — i believe it started in the parking lot. at some point you have to look at the connection between guns and gun violence and i know there is a lot of political pressure on the other side, and they have difficulty doing that, but we have tried the same thing now for 20 yea rs tried the same thing now for 20 years and it's not working. i would implore people to look at something different and to think out—of—the—box, of the box they are in and try to enact very commonsense measures that can respect individual gun rights but also help perhaps
keep guns out of the wrong hands and thatis keep guns out of the wrong hands and that is what we are all trying to do here. but you have to comes of the field and you have to play on the whole field. you can'tjust play on half the field, the half that you agree with. so i'm hoping that this discussion could be open from this. we'll have to see. yes, i'm sure as texans we'll have to see. yes, i'm sure as texa ns co m e we'll have to see. yes, i'm sure as texans come around, that debate will continue. ed scruggs from texas gun sense, thank you for your time and we will keep you across those events in el paso, texas as they unfold. there's been more violence in hong kong after a day of rival protests between pro—democracy and pro—beijing supporters. riot police fired tear gas to disperse the pro—democracy crowd. it's the ninth consecutive weekend the territory has seen protests despite increasingly stern warnings from china's central government about the unrest. demonstrators used laser pointers