The alleged murderer allegedly murdered by El Paso has not pleaded guilty. That said the 21-year-old defendant in Texas on his first public appearance since his arrest.
The Texan is accused of opening fire in front of a Walmart branch in El Paso, Texas on the Mexican border in early August, killing 22 people. The prosecutor demands the death penalty for the accused. The judge set the next hearing for November 7.
Investigators treat the bloody act as domestic terrorism. They assume that the gunman wanted to kill Mexicans in his attack. Among the dead was a German citizen. The 21-year-old suspect had finally surrendered to the police after the massacre in the shopping complex and, according to him, called himself the shooter when he was arrested. According to investigators, he is said to have written a racist manifesto before the fact and published it on the Internet.
Debate on stricter gun laws
The El Paso massacre and similar act in Ohio sparked renewed debate in the US about tightening gun laws. Democratic opposition Democrats received support from the business community: 145 CEOs called on the US Senate in a letter issued by the New York Times to pass a bill passed by the House of Representatives back in February.
This should be prohibited in principle private sales of weapons in which there is no background check of the buyer. Signatories included Airbnb, Uber and Yelp executives.
However, US President Donald Trump and the Republicans have rejected a tightening of arms legislation for years. Even the powerful weapons lobby organization NRA vehemently opposed any such attempt. Trump had already said shortly after the attack that he wanted to ensure that the "very strong views" of the gun lobby were included by the faction leaders in the US Congress. Previously, he had tweeted that he would talk to the NRA so that their opinions would be "fully represented and respected".