The sheriff of El Paso County said in a Facebook post that the suspect in a Saturday mass shooting that killed at least 20 people “came here to kill Hispanics.”
“This Anglo man came here to kill Hispanics. I'm outraged and you should be too. This entire nation should be outraged,” Sheriff Richard Wiles, who is also the former chief of the El Paso Police Department, wrote on his Facebook page.
“In this day and age, with all the serious issues we face, we are still confronted with people who will kill another for the sole reason of the color of their skin,” he added.
Wiles offered words of praise for both the El Paso Police Department’s response to the shooting and the diversity of the city itself, which sits directly across the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juárez and is about 80 percent Hispanic.
“I fear things will not get better. Not pointing out anyone in particular, but I'm sick of people jumping in front of the cameras offering prayers and condolences as things just keep getting worse,” he added.
The suspect in the shooting, who police said drove eight hours from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been tied to a manifesto posted online shortly before the shooting in which the author rails against Latinos and immigrants.
“El Paso will never be the same, because a racist came to our city to try and make a point. It didn't work though, because the backlash of this community, as we hold national, state and local politicians accountable, will be the only point that will be made,” Wiles wrote.