(AP Photo)

FBI concerned about copycat shooters in wake of El Paso, Dayton

Two more people died Monday at a Texas hospital, pushing the death toll from a weekend of mass shootings to 31

August 05, 2019 - 12:25 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) - The FBI issued a nationwide warning on Sunday about a concern for copycat criminals after more than dozens of people were killed or injured in shootings in Texas and Ohio this weekend.

The FBI is "concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence. The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online."

Related: Mother died protecting her baby from gunman in El Paso shooting

Two more people died Monday at a Texas hospital, pushing the death toll from a weekend of mass shootings to 31.

It took just 30 seconds in Ohio and zero bullets in Texas for officers to stop two mass shooters in less than 24 hours this weekend.

Officers gunned down the Ohio shooter at the doorstep of a bar-turned-hiding place in the middle of Dayton's nightclub district and arrested the El Paso shooter as hundreds fled a crowded shopping center. Though the two attacks staggered a nation accustomed to gun violence, the bigger shock may have been that the death toll wasn't worse.

In the Texas border city of El Paso, a gunman opened fire Saturday morning in a shopping area packed with thousands of people during the busy back-to-school season. In all, 22 people died, including two who died Monday at hospitals, and more than two dozen others were wounded.

Hours later in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman wearing body armor and carrying extra magazines opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine and injuring more than two dozen people.

Here is the full release from the FBI:

The attack in El Paso, Texas, underscores the continued threat posed by domestic violent extremists and perpetrators of hate crimes. The FBI is supporting its state and local partners in Texas through investigative, intelligence, and technical assistance. The El Paso investigation is also being supported by the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell, which was established in spring 2019. Composed of subject matter experts from both the Criminal Investigative and Counterterrorism Divisions, the fusion cell offers program coordination from FBI Headquarters, helps ensure seamless information sharing across divisions, and augments investigative resources.

The FBI is also providing assistance to the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department’s investigation into the shooting in Dayton, through the Bureau’s Cincinnati Field Office, with support from FBI Headquarters personnel.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.“I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence. The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.

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