A memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart packed a minor-league ballpark Wednesday night, with thousands of mourners on hand in the wake of the deadly massacre.
The service at Southwest University Park drew attendees from border town El Paso, as well Cuidad Juarez across the Rio Grande in Mexico.
Most of the 22 killed had Hispanic last names and at least eight were Mexican citizens.
“Hate will never overcome our love. Hate will never overcome who we are,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said, according to KEYE-TV in Austin. “We are successful because of our people. There is nowhere in North America like El Paso-Juarez.”
Accused mass killer Patrick Crusius told police he was targeting “Mexicans” when he opened fire with an assault rifle on Aug. 3, and has been tied to a racist online rant decrying the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The Walmart store Crusius, 21, shot up remains a “secure location with controlled access,” Walmart spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins said.
She said there is a fence surrounding the building and security guards patrolling the property.
A section of the stadium during the Wednesday night service was reserved for employees from the Walmart store — many of them still shaken by the unexpected attack.
“I remember the shots outside in the parking lot,” Walmart worker Rosa Fernandez said. “Seeing the people scattered dead on the ground.”
The stadium — home of the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres — has a seating capacity of 7,500 and can hold up to 10,000 for concerts and other events.