Gun Violence

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday convened the first meeting of the newly formed Texas Safety Commission, ramping up the state's efforts to devise policy solutions in the wake of the deadly shooting targeting immigrants and Hispanics earlier this month in El Paso.

Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Nearly two weeks after a mass shooting in El Paso, Gov. Greg Abbott promised that his office, and the Legislature, would take appropriate action to stop future tragedies — but quashed any speculation that he’d call lawmakers back for a special session to make it happen.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET

On the presidential campaign trail in Iowa and on the op-ed page of The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden has made the case for going back to a nationwide ban on assault weapons and making it "even stronger."

Some have reacted with quizzical expressions: "Back?" "Stronger?"

I spent last weekend and a few more days reporting from El Paso. Before leaving, I wanted to see the one place I hadn't been to: the makeshift memorial outside the Walmart where 22 people were killed.

After the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, gun control is again at the forefront of the political conversation.

President Trump has expressed openness to a federal red flag law and for "meaningful" background checks.

El Paso Shooting Suspect Said He Targeted Mexicans, Police Say

Aug 9, 2019
Courtesy of Armando Morales

The man accused of carrying out last weekend's deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso confessed to officers while he was surrendering and later explained he had been targeting Mexicans, authorities say.

Michael Minasi for KUT

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro announced a "plan to disarm hate" Friday morning, less than a week after a deadly shooting in El Paso that targeted Hispanic immigrants.

Walmart Pulls Violent Game Displays After El Paso Shooting; No Change In Gun Sales

Aug 9, 2019
Walmart employees near a memorial for the shooting victims
Stella M. Chávez / KERA

Walmart is removing from its stores nationwide signs, displays or videos that depict violence following a mass shooting at one of its stores in Texas, though it has not changed its policy on gun sales.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

President Trump on Friday indicated that he supported new legislation on "intelligent" background checks for gun purchases after recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

"On background checks, we have tremendous support for really common-sense, sensible, important background checks," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The president said the issue "isn't a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat," and added that he had spoken with the head of the National Rifle Association.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited El Paso Wednesday afternoon to meet with first responders and survivors of Saturday’s mass shooting.

Those who greeted the president include Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and others.

Residents, however, turned out in force to protest the visit.

Gov. Greg Abbott surrounded by lawmakers and press
Jesus Rosales for The Texas Tribune

Days after a white gunman murdered 22 people in El Paso in a shooting fueled by racism, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said that he will hold another series of roundtable discussions to consider legislative proposals to address the tragedy.

The El Paso community attends a vigil for Javier Amir Rodriguez
Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio

Updated on Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. CST

Community members gathered for a vigil in El Paso on Monday night to honor the youngest victim of the mass shooting at a Walmart store on Saturday.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As national and local leaders grapple with the nation's raw emotions over the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, confirmed that President Trump will visit his city on Wednesday.

El Paso is a border town with a predominately Hispanic population and a culture linked to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. And now the community feels like it is being targeted because of that.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

President Trump, responding Monday to the deadly weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people, condemned white supremacy and called for the death penalty for mass murderers and domestic terrorists.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the nation is "overcome with shock, horror and sorrow."

Updated 4 p.m. ET

The shooter behind the grisly mass shooting that left 20 people dead and 26 wounded at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning has been identified by officials as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas.

State prosecutors in El Paso announced on Sunday that they will pursue the death penalty against Crusius.

About 20 minutes before the shooting started at an El Paso Walmart, a rambling screed was posted to an online message board saying the massacre was in response to an "invasion" of Hispanics coming across the southern border.

Beto O'Rourke
Michael Minasi for KUT

As authorities investigate a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 20 people dead and more than two dozen others injured Saturday, police say the 21-year-old North Texas man arrested may have written a manifesto revealing that the crime was racially motivated.

Sandy Heath was at a funeral service Saturday morning when she got a phone alert about an active shooter. That prompted her church to go on lockdown.

Then came the text messages from friends and family making sure Heath, 75, was ok. And, could she help?

Police have identified 24-year-old white male Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, as the shooter who claimed nine lives and injured 27 others in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.

Among the nine dead was the shooter's sister, Megan Betts, 22, said Lt. Col. Matt Carper at a news conference Sunday.

Updated Sunday at 11 a.m. ET

Twenty people are dead and 26 wounded after a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning, according to state and local authorities.

Speaking at a news conference, Gov. Greg Abbott said that what should have been a leisurely day of shopping "turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas."

"We pray that God will be with those who've been harmed in any way," he added.

Chris/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 2014, a Cleveland police officer killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was playing at a park with a toy gun – a gun that police thought was real. In the intervening years, police officers have killed approximately 153 more people who were holding toy guns. Investigative reporter Alain Stephens, a Texas Standard alumnus who now contributes to The Trace, says these toy guns look surprisingly realistic, and that’s by design.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

State representatives on Monday will begin discussing whether a "red flag" law giving courts the ability to remove guns from a person considered dangerous would work in Texas.

WhatsApp/Houston Public Media

From Texas Standard.

After another school shooting in Texas, this time in Santa Fe, calls for action have come from various places along the political spectrum. Some believe that beefed-up school security is the answer, while others advocate gun regulation. Texas lawmakers are talking about how to move forward, including Republican Jason Villalba, a member of the Texas House from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

Thousands of Austin students walked out of class today and marched to the state Capitol to participate in a nationwide call for action on gun violence.