EL PASO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Two years after a gunman from North Texas made his way to El Paso, targeted Latinos, and opened fire at a Walmart, officials in the border city will unveil a garden Tuesday that is meant to bring healing.
In all, the attack that stunned people in the U.S. and Mexico killed 23 people.
Much like the first anniversary of the shooting, many of the events honoring those slain will again be affected by precautions for the coronavirus pandemic. The dedication of the healing garden — in a county park space dedicated to quiet reflection among water and plants — will be closed to the public. Victims' families and officials will take part in the ceremony, which will be livestreamed.
Another socially distanced observance will include a luminaria drive-thru. Luminarias are traditional lanterns made from paper bags, sand, and candles or LED lights.
The August 3, 2019, shooting happened on a busy, weekend day at a Walmart that is typically popular with shoppers from Mexico and the U.S.
Authorities say Patrick Crusius — charged with capital murder under Texas law and hate crimes and gun laws at the federal level — confessed to driving more than 600 miles to El Paso from his home in Allen, Texas to target Mexicans. Just before the attack, authorities said, he posted a racist screed online. He has pleaded not guilty, and his defense lawyers have said he has severe "mental disabilities."
In addition to those who died, more than two dozen were injured. Many were citizens of Mexico. El Paso is a largely Hispanic city that forms an international metro area with Ciudad Juarez with more than 2 million people. On the U.S. side, suburbs stretch into New Mexico.
The weekend of the shooting in El Paso was shockingly violent in the United States. Hours after the killings in Texas, another shooter killed nine people in a popular nightlife area in Dayton, Ohio.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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