Tag Archives: Texas

Baloch, Sindhi, Pashto groups gather in Houston to seek help from Modi, Trump

Representatives of Sindhi, Baloch and Pashto groups have gathered in Houston to hold a demonstration in front of the NRG stadium on Sunday to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump for gaining freedom from Pakistan.

Scores of members of the Balochi American, Sindhi American and Pashto American communities landed in Houston on Saturday from various parts of the US to hold the first-of-its-kind demonstration in America, wherein they will collectively urge the leaders of India and the United States to help them get freedom from Pakistan.

Members of these groups alleged on Saturday that the Pakistani establishment was carrying out gross violation of human rights against their communities.

“We demand freedom from Pakistan. India and the US should help us in the same way as India had helped the people of Bangladesh in 1971,” Nabi Baksha Baloch, the US representative of the Baloch National Movement, told PTI.

“We are here to request Prime Minister Modi and President Trump to support our cause. There has been gross violation of human rights against the Baloch people by the Pakistani government,” he said.

More than 100 Sindhi Americans arrived in Houston on Saturday. They are planning to gather outside the NRG stadium, where the “Howdy Modi” event is scheduled to be held on Sunday, with the hope that their posters and banners of freedom will catch the attention of Modi and Trump.

“This is a historic rally by the leaders of the free world — the largest and oldest democracies. We the people of Sindh want freedom from Pakistan. Just like India supported for the freedom of Bangladesh in 1971, we want a separate nation for the people of Sindh. Pakistan is a theocratic country,” Zafar Sahito, from the Jeay Sindh Mutahida Muhaz, said.


Multiple Injuries Reported in Another Active Shooter Situation in Texas

Police in both Midland and Odessa, Texas, have confirmed an ongoing active shooter situation in which multiple people have been injured.

“Active Shooter! Please Share!” the Odessa Police Department wrote on its Facebook account early Saturday evening. “A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims. The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut. Everyone is encouraged to get off the road and use extreme caution! All law enforcement is currently searching for the suspect and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available.”ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads

Police in Midland, which is located about 20 miles from Odessa, confirmed the shooting and said they believed there may be two shooters.

“We believe there are two shooters in two separate vehicles. One suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy in Midland and the other is believed to be driving on Loop 250 in Midland. The two vehicles in question are: gold/white small Toyota truck and a USPS Postal Van. Please stay away from these areas and stay indoors,” the Midland Police Department wrote on its Facebook account.

“There are reports of an active shooter at the Home Depot in Odessa. For the safety of the public and law enforcement please stay away from the area and stay in your homes. We will update with more information as soon as possible,” the department added.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, in Odessa, placed the campus on lockdown.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said its agents are responding to a shooting on IH-20 near Odessa.

Texas state Rep. Brooks Landgraf, from Odessa, called the situation “tragic” and “serious.” “Please stay in your homes,” he tweeted.


Thirty People Shot in Active Shooter Situation in Texas: CBS

Thirty people have been shot between Odessa and Midland, Texas, amid an active shooter situation, CBS‘s David Begnaud reports, citing police.

“A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims,” the Odessa police department said on Facebook. The subject hijacked a U.S. mail carrier.

Midland Police said in a Facebook post the two shooters are in two separate vehicles.

Thirty people have been shot between Odessa and Midland, Texas, amid an active shooter situation, CBS‘s David Begnaud reports, citing police.

“A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims,” the Odessa police department said on Facebook. The subject hijacked a U.S. mail carrier.

Midland Police said in a Facebook post the two shooters are in two separate vehicles.


Pastor whose child was shot at Texas church in 2017 to contest for seat in state legislature

A Texas pastor whose teenage daughter was among more than two dozen people killed in a mass shooting at his church in 2017 said Sunday that he will run as a Republican next year for a seat in the state Legislature.

Frank Pomeroy – whose 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, was killed in the November 2017 attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs- is launching his campaign at a moment when gun violence is again at the forefront of Texas politics following a mass shooting in El Paso this month that killed 22 people.

The two mass shootings were part of a “trajectory” that led him to run for the state Senate, he said during a brief phone interview before stepping into a restaurant with his family. The shooting at his church compelled him to have more conversations with people about guns and other leading political issues, he said, while the El Paso attack troubled him in the way the victims were used by others to score political points.

“I felt like something needed to be brought to the conversation, like civility and real intelligent discourse,” he said, adding that he’s concerned by the way “integrity and morality are degrading,” particularly within the Democratic Party.

Frank Pomeroy said that owning guns is not the problem that has led to mass shootings and the focus should be on issues such as mental illness.

First Baptist Church opened a new sanctuary this year after the old building was turned into a memorial, following what remains the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. A gunman shot and killed 25 people at the church; authorities put the official death toll at 26 because one of the victims was pregnant.

Frank Pomeroy, who has never held elected office, had not been outspoken politically in the two years since a discharged Air Force airman with a history of violence opened fire in the church where the gunman’s wife and mother-in-law attended.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott emerged this week from a lengthy, closed-door meeting with lawmakers noncommittal about tighter gun laws in wake of the El Paso attack. And Texas’ powerful gun lobby is already pushing back after Abbott on Thursday floated ideas that might restrict private gun sales or allow “welfare checks” on some people who have access to firearms.

Frank Pomeroy, 53, will run in a senate district that is considered safely Democratic – President Donald Trump lost it by double digits in 2016 – and sprawls hundreds of miles from Austin to the US-Mexico border. The incumbent, Democrat Judith Zaffirini, took office in 1987 and was the first Hispanic female to serve in the state Senate.

Zaffirini, after being told of Frank Pomeroy’s critical comments of Democrats, said she was “very surprised to hear such a harsh comment coming from a pastor.”

She said she knows both Pomeroy and his wife and described the pastor as “a man of integrity” who’s committed to his community.

“I always treat every challenger seriously and every challenger respectfully and that is how I hope to engage with him,” she said.

Across the US, there have been several instances of family members of mass shooting victims running for office – and not always as Democrats pushing for tighter gun laws. In Connecticut, state Senate challenger JT Lewis is a Republican and Trump supporter who is the brother of one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

In Florida, following the mass shooting at a Parkland high school in 2018, mother Lori Alhadeff won a seat on the school board after her daughter was among the 17 people killed in the attack.

Gun-rights supporters in Texas, some carrying assault rifles strapped on their shoulders, rallied outside the state Capitol on Thursday before the governor met with lawmakers. Among those carrying a weapon was Stephen Willeford, who lives across the street from the Sutherland Springs church and used an AR-15 rifle to fire back at the gunman, who later killed himself.


El Paso, Dayton hospitals deny Trump claim of doctors leaving OR to meet him

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio are denying President Trump‘s claim this week that “doctors were coming out of the operating rooms” to meet him during his trips to visit the survivors and first-responders of this month’s deadly mass shootings.

Speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Trump said, “The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms” to greet him.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn’t even walk on it,” he said.

But both hospitals have confirmed that doctors did not leave any patients or operating rooms to meet the president in the wake of the mass shootings, which left more than 30 dead.  

“At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” Ryan Mielke, a spokesperson for University Medical Center of El Paso, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Our priority is always patient care.”

None of the eight patients who were still hospitalized at University Medical Center at the time agreed to meet with Trump during his trip on August 7, the hospital confirmed to the Post.

“This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” Mielke said. “Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors.” 

Ben Sutherly, a spokesperson for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, also confirmed that no doctors left operating rooms to meet with the president during his visit earlier that same day.

“Our physicians and staff at no time leave an active operating room, procedural area or patient room to greet anyone,” Sutherly said.

Trump lashed out at the media after the visits, accusing reporters of saying “nobody would meet” with him when he traveled to the two cities after the shootings.

“The love for me — and me, maybe, as a representative of the country — but for me — and my love for them was unparalleled. These are incredible people. But if you read the papers, it was like nobody would meet with me,” Trump said.

“Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room,” he continued.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the president and first lady Melania Trump were “received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them. It was a moving visit for all involved.”


Mexico, US to exchange information on El Paso shooting

Mexico said on Tuesday it had agreed with the United States to exchange information regarding the deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 people.

Eight Mexican citizens were among those gunned down in the racially charged rampage in the majority-Hispanic border city.

“Both governments agreed to exchange information on their respective investigations, in strict accordance with each country’s regulatory frameworks,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement, following a meeting in Mexico City between representatives of both nations.

The ministry said it informed the US officials of its concern about the shooting and the perpetrator’s ties to white supremacy.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard condemned the shooting as an “act of terrorism” against his country’s nationals on August 5.

A representative from the Mexican government is scheduled to meet Wednesday in El Paso with prosecutors investigating the attack.

On Thursday, the Mexican government delivered a diplomatic note to the United States, rejecting hate speech and white supremacy, and demanding that Washington provide information on whether there are other perpetrators or potential organizations seeking to endanger Mexicans.

The 21-year-old Texan who carried out the August 3 shooting spree at a Walmart shopping center had published a racist manifesto online expressing fears of a “Hispanic invasion” of the state.

He admitted to police he had been targeting Mexicans, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Critics of US President Donald Trump have denounced his anti-immigrant rhetoric as fuel for the violence.

El Paso, which borders Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, has a population of 680,000 people, some 83 percent of whom are Hispanic.


Targeted in Walmart attack, Hispanics in El Paso flock to firearms classes

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people.

Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was at the class with her two children. She said her military husband had long been pushing for her to get a concealed-carry license, which allows the holder to wear a gun hidden under their clothes or carry it in a purse when they are in public.

Segovia said she felt urgency to do the required training now after the attack hit close to home. “I’m still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon,” she said.

The vast majority of people at the classes were Hispanic; El Paso is a predominantly Latino city. Police say the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

“I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

“We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

“This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”


With or without a weapon, McIntyre acknowledged most people would not be able to fight back in an attack like the one in El Paso. The class acknowledges this, and students are taught to run first before firing a gun. Only 1% of people return fire, he said.

“One out of a hundred is a fire, the other 99 will run off,” McIntyre said.

Segovia, who has military training, said the concealed-carry class does not compare to what is needed in an active shooter situation, but she wants her sisters to prepare anyway.

“I’ve already told them, ‘Let’s go practice. Let’s go practice.’ It’s not just this one time that we have to keep coming to ranges and so you can feel familiarized with a weapon and be OK with it,” Segovia said.

Segovia may be applying for her concealed-carry license, but she also wants to see changes in gun laws come from the top and make it harder for young people to get firearms.

“I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people,” Segovia said.

Gun control is definitely not on the horizon for Texas, where Governor Greg Abbot recently signed into law nine bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that will loosen up gun regulations starting on Sept. 1.

One of the new laws lifts a ban on carrying firearms in places of worship. That ban came after a gunman fatally shot 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs. Another stops landlords from prohibiting firearms on their rental properties.

The laws were all signed in the first regular legislative session after three mass shootings in Texas: the Sutherland Springs church massacre, a shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston that killed 10 in 2018, and the El Paso attack that killed 22.

Julian Castro’s twin outs Texas Trump donors over El Paso shooting

The Trump 2020 campaign demanded Tuesday that Rep. Joaquin Castro – the twin brother of 2020 White House hopeful Julian Castro – delete a tweet that publicly named and shamed some of the president’s biggest Texas donors in advance of his visit to El Paso on Wednesday.

“How low have Dems sunk?” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted. “This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother’s campaign. Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for their political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights.”

Murtaugh said that at the very least Castro “is inviting harassment of these private citizens. At worst, he’s encouraging violence.”

“This is a target list,” he added.

Castro tweeted a list of the 44 San Antonio donors who contributed the maximum to Trump. It included their names and employers.

“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro wrote, then naming some of the contributors


Texas and Ohio shootings heighten fears of ‘white terrorism’ in U.S.

Armed with assault rifles and clad in combat gear, two white men methodically gunned down nearly 30 people over the weekend, underscoring fears that “white terrorism” is now the main threat in the United States.

Amid rising grief and a clamor for action after the shootings in Texas and Ohio, and earlier in several other cities, politicians of both parties called for the federal government to take that threat more seriously, with some Democrats accusing President Donald Trump of dangerously fanning racial tensions.

“It is very clear that the loss of American life in Charleston, in San Diego, in Pittsburgh and by all appearances now in El Paso, too, is symptomatic of the effects of white nationalist terrorism,” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Sunday, naming the scenes of mass shootings that targeted blacks, Jews and, apparently, Hispanics.

In El Paso, situated on the border with Mexico, more than eight in 10 residents are of Hispanic descent. The accused shooter, a 21-year-old white man identified in media reports as Patrick Crusius, had come from far away Dallas with the apparent intent of inflicting mass carnage.

Armed with an assault rifle, the shooter killed 20 people and wounded 26 before surrendering to police.

An online manifesto, attributed to the assailant, railed against a “Hispanic invasion” and referred approvingly to the March 15 massacre by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 51 people dead.

Six of the 20 people killed in the shooting were Mexican nationals, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday.

Thirteen hours after the El Paso attack, another white man is accused of spreading terror in the Midwestern city of Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people — including his sister — authorities said. Police named him as Connor Betts, 24.

While police say the motive is still unclear, six of the nine killed in Dayton were black.

“What you have here is two things coming together,” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“One, the weak gun safety policies of this country. And two, the rise of domestic terrorism inspired by white nationalists … we (have) got to do something about it.”

Trump, in denouncing the El Paso shooting on Twitter as “an act of cowardice,” said nothing about the suspect’s possible motives.

He later stated that “hate has no place in our country,” but also blamed mental illness for the violence.

El Paso’s Republican mayor, Dee Margo, seemed to discount any race angle, reducing the tragedy there to the “pure evil” act of a “deranged” man.

Even some Republicans, however, saw that sort of explanation as inadequate.

“I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority, and that should include standing firm against white terrorism,” tweeted George P. Bush, a high-ranking Texas official who is the nephew of former President George W. Bush.

“This is a real and present threat.”

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that “what we saw yesterday was a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy. There is no place for this … anywhere across our nation.”

Even Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a White House adviser, tweeted about the problem, saying, “White supremacy, like all other forms of terrorism, is an evil that must be destroyed.”

For years, some analysts have warned that the huge shifting of intelligence and security assets toward fending off foreign threats after the 9/11 attacks had come at the expense of needed attention to domestic dangers.

But administration officials say they have taken the threat seriously.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified last month in Congress that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases the bureau had investigated in the previous nine months were motivated by some version of “white supremacist violence.” He said his agency was “aggressively” investigating such crimes.

In 2017 and 2018, according to the New America analysis center, violence from the far right claimed more victims in the United States than jihadi attacks.

But Robert McKenzie, an analyst with New America, wrote earlier this year that “even during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies often ignored right-wing threats for political reasons.”

One thing that did change after Trump’s election in 2016 was the tone of the public debate.

The president has often denounced an “invasion” of migrants, he refused to explicitly condemn the far-right demonstrators at the violent 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, and he recently called for four young members of Congress, all women of color, to “go back” to their countries of origin.

“We need to call out white nationalism for what it is — domestic terrorism,” tweeted Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate. “We need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy.”

Another Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke, whose former congressional district includes El Paso, went further.

“The president is encouraging greater racism, and not just the racist rhetoric but the violence that so often follows,” O’Rourke said on CNN.

“It’s not just President Trump, but he’s certainly the person in the position of greatest public trust … most responsible for it.”