It's being a year after a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The shooting, considered as a hate crime, left twenty-three people dead and twenty-three injured. Today we remember the victims. Photo by Rhodi Lopez on Unsplash

On August 3, 2019, a racially motivated mass shooting occurred at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. A gunman, carrying what is believed to be a WASR-10 rifle, shot and killed 23 people and injured 23 others in his intent of assassinating as many Hispanics as possible.

Described by The New York Times as "the deadliest attack to target Latinos in modern American history," the massacre, carried by a 21-year-old then, was treated as domestic violence and the suspect minutes after his arrest declared, “I’m the shooter,” to the authorities.

As reported by USA Today, the attacker allegedly wrote a 2,356-word white supremacist manifesto before the shooting and posted it online. In his rant, the shooter wrote about a Hispanic “invasion” to the United States as well as conspiracy theories. Citing the book “The Great Replacement,” the gunman made reference to how El Paso is a predominantly Latinx community and that the “white race” was being replaced by nonwhite people. "When you have a few people of color, the community is not seen so much as a threat," said Maria Cristina Morales, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, told to USA Today. "But the more that the population grows – the population of Latinos grows for instance – the more fear that there's going to be a loss of power."

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, revealed she always feared attacks against Hispanics. "I had been worried for some time that something really awful was going to happen," Escobar said. "I had felt unsettled between the really horrific language used by the president to describe immigrants, to the inhumane treatment of them."

In the past and several occasions, U.S President Donald Trump has described immigrants as "animals" and "rapists," comments that have been interpreted by white supremacists as a green light to attack Latinos. “We have people coming into the country or trying to come in, we're stopping a lot of them, but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are," Trump said. "These aren't people. These are animals."

During a rally in Florida, Trump also laugh at the suggestion of an audience member who yelled "Shoot them!" when Trump asked, "How do you stop these people?"

"All of this plays a role in how people view immigrants and minorities," Escobar said. "When you treat people like animals, then you strip them of their humanity, and I had really been carrying a fear for a long time that something bad was going to happen."

The shooter, from Allen, Texas, was charged with Capital murder -- the most severe charge in the state of Texas-- and can receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

A total of 22 of the known victims died in 2019, and eight months after the shooting another victim died on April 26, 2020, after fighting for his life in a hospital, raising the death toll to 23. Among the dead were thirteen Americans, eight Mexicans, and one German.

The names of the 23 victims killed in El Paso, Texas:

  1. Jordan Anchondo
  2. Andre Anchondo
  3. Arturo Benavidez
  4. Javier Rodriguez
  5. Sara Esther Regalado Moriel
  6. Adolfo Cerros Hernández
  7. Gloria Irma Marquez
  8. María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
  9. Ivan Manzano
  10. Juan de Dios Velázquez Chairez
  11. David Johnson
  12. Leonardo Campos Jr.
  13. Maribel Campos (Loya)
  14. Angelina Silva Englisbee
  15. Maria Flores
  16. Raul Flores
  17. Jorge Calvillo Garcia
  18. Alexander Gerhard Hoffman
  19. Luis Alfonzo Juarez
  20. Elsa Mendoza de la Mora
  21. Margie Reckard
  22. Teresa Sanchez
  23. Guillermo "Memo" Garcia (Died in 2020)

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