Politics

Gun Violence Against Innocents ‘Will Not Define Us,’ Vows El Paso Mayor Dee Margo

Speaking to Chris Wallace of 'Fox News Sunday,' leader of border community in the Lone Star State praises the work of law enforcement in stopping a shooter's actions as quickly as possible

“It’s tough any way you look at it,” said Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas, about the horrific shooting that occurred on Saturday outside and within a Walmart in a popular shopping mall.

Twenty people lost their lives in that shooting, and approximately 26 were wounded. Many are still in hospitals after undergoing surgery or other treatments and care.

Related: Kindness of Crowds: People Line Up in El Paso to Donate Blood to the Wounded

“Nobody prepares for this,” said Margo to anchor Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday.” “I certainly as mayor have not been prepared for something like this. Thank heavens our law enforcement was prepared,” he added. “I mean, it has been stated they received a call at 10:39 [in the morning], and were there at 10:45, and he [the gunman] was apprehended at 11:06 a.m.”

“I think it’s a masterful work from their training. But it’s tough. It’s tough.”

“And it will get … I don’t think it’s going to get any easier until after we have our 20 funerals.”

Not only is the city of El Paso reeling from this heinous act of violence, but so are the people of Dayton, Ohio — where yet another mass shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday.

In that instance, police shot and killed the gunman before he could take any more lives. Nine people are dead and 27 more were injured and taken to the hospital as a result of that gunman’s acts of violence.

Wallace said to Margo, “The [Texas] shooter is not from El Paso but actually from Dallas, across the state of Texas. Any sense you’re getting as to whether he had been in El Paso for a period of time, or whether he drove there specifically to carry out this attack in El Paso?”

Related: ‘Texas Grieves’: 20 People Are Dead, Roughly Two Dozen Wounded After Mall Shooting in El Paso

“Chris, I [haven’t] have been informed by the police and the FBI about this individual at all, other than knowing that he came from the Dallas area. He was deranged. He was evil,” said Margo. “But I can assure you that — I am convinced no one from El Paso would have ever done this. It’s not our nature, our culture. And I just — I don’t know about him. I mean, it’s pure evil as far as I can characterize it.”

“Let’s talk about the evil,” said Wallace. “The shooter is linked to statements — some are calling it a manifesto — online berating the idea of Mexican immigration, calling it an invasion of our country. Which raises the question: Would there have [been] a lot of Mexicans in a store in El Paso over a weekend? And do you think that perhaps that’s why he targeted El Paso because you’re right on the border with Mexico?”

“I trust that the strong people of El Paso will heal, but it will take time,” said Chris Wallace of Fox News. “Thank you for joining us and we are so sorry for your loss, sir.”

Margo replied that El Paso is “the largest U.S. city on the Mexican border, where our region is a population inclusive of Juarez, Mexico, and Chihuahua, Mexico, of two-and-a-half million people. El Paso is 84 percent Hispanic to begin with. And we have shoppers that come over every day from Mexico to purchase goods and services here … We’ve been one region for 350 years. It’s hard to define El Paso. We are totally unique for North America,” he added.

“Mayor, we’re going to leave it there,” replied Wallace. “I hope — I trust that the strong people of El Paso will heal, but it will take time. Thank you for joining us and we are so sorry for your loss, sir.”

“Thank you. This will not define us, Chris, in no way, shape, form, or fashion,” said Margo.

“This will not define us.”

Authorities are executing three search warrants in the Dallas area as part of their investigation into the El Paso crime, according to news reports on Sunday morning.

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