Editors USA TODAY
Published 6:40 PM EDT Aug 4, 2019
Before El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy, the FBI issued a warning
The week before lone gunmen cut bloody swaths through three American cities in California, Texas and Ohio, FBI Director Christopher Wray sounded an alarm: Domestic violent extremism — fueled by racial tension, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia — poses a risk nearly on par with that of international terrorism, he said. “The FBI is most concerned about lone offender attacks, primarily shootings, as they have served as the dominant lethal mode for domestic violent extremist attacks,” Wray told a Senate panel July 23. “We anticipate law enforcement, racial minorities and the U.S. government will continue to be significant targets for many domestic violent extremists.”
A massacre Saturday in El Paso, Texas, which left 20 dead and 26 wounded, was followed hours later by an attack in Dayton, Ohio, that left 9 dead and 27 wounded, underscoring a crisis that the nation struggles to confront.
Mass shootings are more numerous and more deadly, data shows
A rash of mass shootings in the past week – California, Texas and now Ohio – show the phenomenon is entering a new, dangerous phase. The number of incidents is increasing and they are becoming more deadly, according to FBI data. Experts tie the rise to several factors. Would-be shooters have easy access to high-capacity firearms. The news media and social media fuel their desires for infamy. More people are willing to commit mass murder to express their anger at the world and its perceived slights. So far this year, more than 520 people have died in mass shootings and at least 2,000 have been injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
251 mass shootings in 216 days: As gunfire ripped through America this weekend, a bleak milestone was marked: There have been 251 mass shootings in the United States this year. The Dayton shooting underscored an even darker statistic: It occurred on the 216th day of the year, meaning there have been more mass shootings than days so far this year.
In Dayton, the shooter killed his sister: A gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in a “very safe,” historic district in Dayton, Ohio, killing at least nine people and igniting chaos in the crowded outdoor area before police fatally shot him seconds later, authorities said. Police identified the shooter as Connor Betts, 24, of nearby Bellbrook. Names of those killed also were released and included Betts’ 22-year-old sister, Megan. More than two dozen people were wounded or injured. Police did not know the shooter’s motive as of Sunday afternoon.
- Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy claimed shootings like the one in Dayton could be linked to violent video games.
- ‘God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio’: President Donald Trump tweeted support for the Ohio city and ordered flags to be flown at half staff after both shootings.
In El Paso, a mother died shielding her infant child: A capital murder charge was officially filed against the man accused of killing 20 people and injuring 26 others in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. Law enforcement officials said they arrested a 21-year-old Dallas-area man in connection to the shooting that’s being investigated as a possible hate crime after the discovery of a racist manifesto believed to have been posted online by the killer. “We will seek the death penalty,” District Attorney Jaime Esparza said Sunday.
- Among the El Paso victims: A 25-year-old mother who reportedly died saving her infant child.
- Hundreds lined up in El Paso after the shooting to answer the pleas for blood donations.
- ‘He’s a racist’: Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso native, said the mass shooting was partly influenced by President Donald Trump’s racial rhetoric.
- A quiet Texas neighborhood was stunned by its connection to the suspect.
Iran seized a 3rd foreign oil tanker, state media says
Another foreign oil tanker was seized in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s state media said Sunday. It was the third such ship to be detained by Tehran amid high tensions between Iran and the U.S. after Washington renewed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained seven of the ship’s foreign sailors for smuggling about 185,000 gallons of fuel from Iran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency, which cited state television. No details about the crew’s nationalities or who owns the ship were given.
- An MLB fan who threw a 96-mph fastball at an in-stadium radar booth signed a contract with the Oakland A’s.
- The California gunman who opened fire on unsuspecting festival-goers in Gilroy just last week died by suicide, a coroner said.
- Duchess Meghan of Sussex turns 38 on Sunday. Will she celebrate with the queen?
- The U.S. warned Sweden of “negative consequences” if A$AP Rocky was not released from jail for trial.
- Barack Obama, who served as the 44th president of the United States, turned 58 on Aug. 4.
Russian police detain nearly 700 in Moscow protesting election exclusion
Helmeted police in Moscow rounded up at least 685 demonstrators and at least one opposition leader Saturday in an effort to squelch a march protesting the exclusion of independent candidates from city council elections. Authorities had warned that the unauthorized protest march through central Moscow Saturday would bring a strong police response. The protest was livestreamed on Russian independent websites.
At least 3 people killed after beach cliff collapses in California
A popular surfing beach was closed after a cliff collapsed, sending tons of sandstone onto beachgoers and killing at least three people Saturday. The collapsed cliff trapped several on Grandview beach in Encinitas near San Diego. A woman died at the scene, and two more people later died at hospitals. Police had to stop searching for additional victims because the scene was too dangerous. They moved to using K-9’s in the search, according to local news reports. The beach, a popular surf spot among locals and vacationers, was filled with people at the time of the collapse.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.
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