After Shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Biden Gets Both Locations Wrong

By Zachary Stieber

Former vice president Joe Biden got the locations of the two mass shootings over the weekend wrong when speaking at an event late Aug. 4.

The shootings took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Biden, speaking at a fundraiser, referred to them initially as “the tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before,” according to a pool report.

Biden later corrected himself.

Biden said at the event: “The American people may be running out of tears, but I pray to God we’re not running out of will. A will to do something about what we’re seeing. You know, we don’t need any more thoughts & prayers out of Washington. What we need … is a strength and resolve that I’ve yet to see.”

“This is a lot more than about guns. This is about hatred. That’s not hyperbole,” Biden added. “The fact is, white nationalists, white supremacists, these extreme ideologies is growing, is taking root in America.”

While the El Paso shooting suspect expressed anti-Hispanic views, the Dayton shooting suspect was a self-described socialist and a registered Democrat.

Bodies are removed from at the scene of the mass shooting in Ohio
Bodies are removed from at the scene of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on, Aug. 4, 2019. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

Biden, 76, is, along with 76-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the oldest people running for president.

In May, the candidate told donors that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was concerned about America under President Donald Trump but later corrected himself to say he meant British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Thatcher died in 2013. Biden called the gaffe a “Freudian slip.”

In his closing statement at the latest round of Democratic presidential debates, Biden told the crowd that supporters should go to “Joe 30330” to help his campaign. Biden’s campaign later cleared up the confusion by telling people to text “JOIN” to 30330 to get involved.

After the gaffe, someone bought the web domain for Joe30330.com. It currently directs people to a website for “Josh for America.”

An employee crosses into the crime scene following a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3, 2019. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)

Walmart Massacre Investigated as Domestic Terrorism

Authorities investigating what drove a young man from the Dallas area to kill 20 people at a Walmart store hundreds of miles away in the border city of El Paso said on Sunday they are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday’s rampage appeared to be a hate crime, and police cited a manifesto they attributed to the suspect as evidence that the bloodshed was racially motivated.

The FBI said in a statement on Sunday the attack “underscores the continued threat posed by domestic violent extremists and perpetrators of hate crimes.”

The bureau said it remains concerned that more U.S.-based extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence.

Texas Mall Shooting
Texas state police cars block the access to the Walmart store in the aftermath of a shooting in El Paso, Tx., Aug. 3, 2019. (Andres Leighton/AP Photo)

“The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online,” the bureau said.

A state prosecutor said they will seek the death penalty for the suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas.

The U.S. attorney for the western district of Texas, John Bash, said federal authorities were treating the massacre as a case of domestic terrorism.

“And we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice,” Bash told reporters at a news conference on Sunday.

He said the attack appeared “to be designed to intimidate a civilian population, to say the least.”

Reuters contributed to this report.