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At least 8 survivors of Saturday's El Paso shooting refuse to accept a visit from President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania while in the hospital.
Survivors of the El Paso mass shooting being treated in a local hospital refused to meet with visiting President Donald Trump Wednesday. Spokesperson for the University Medical Center (UMC) Ryan Mielke said that at least eight patients of Saturday’s mass-shooting “didn't want to meet with the president.”
Over the weekend, Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas entered a Walmart in El Paso and opened fire on shoppers, killing 22 and injuring another 26, in a racism-motivated massacre.
“Some of them didn't want any visitors," said Mielke of the recovering patients. He added, “This is a very sensitive time in their lives," while talking to the Washington Post.
Demonstrators were also on hand to “unwelcome” the president and First Lady Melania Trump who held signs outside the hospital that read, “Your Words Have Consequences,” referring to Trump's two-year rhetoric against Mexicans, Central Americans, and brown and black-skinned people in general. Mexicans were a specific target of Crusius. Officials there said Wednesday that the government may request the suspect, now in custody, be extradited to Mexico for trial.
Two of the UMC shooting survivors did meet with the president after being released, said Mielke. However, other injured by Crusius, who, according to Trump, may receive the death penalty, chose to meet with local politicians and Democratic congresswoman Veronica Escobar, instead.
The public and politicians, including presidential hopeful and El Paso-native, Beto O’Rourke, have been highly critical of Trump for inciting and supporting white supremacy, which seems was the main motivator for the Walmart shooter.
O’Rourke has said over the past couple of days that Trump, “helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible” and thus “has no place here” in El Paso.
The president tweeted of his one-day visit to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio where another mass shooting took place hours after the Texas event: “Leaving El Paso for the White House. What GREAT people I met there and in Dayton, Ohio.”
According to Trump, “The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work. ... Sad!”