Garden to open for El Paso Walmart shooting 2nd anniversary

National

FILE – In this Aug. 12, 2019 photo, mourners visit the makeshift memorial near the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting. Officials in the border city are unveiling a garden meant to bring healing two years after a gunman targeting Latinos opened fire, ultimately killing 23 people in an attack that stunned the U.S. and Mexico. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Officials in the border city of El Paso will unveil a garden Tuesday that is meant to bring healing two years after a gunman targeting Latinos opened fire at a Walmart, killing 23 people in an attack that stunned the U.S. and Mexico.

Much like the first anniversaryof 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 Aug. 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 (966 kilometers) to El Paso from his home near Dallas 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 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files