Bulgarian leaders send condolences after El Paso mass shooting

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has sent a cable of condolences to US President Donald Trump after the mass shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, the government information service in Sofia said on August 4.

Initial reports said that 20 people were dead and more than two dozen injured in the El Paso attack. Police said that a 21-year-old white male was in custody and the attack was being treated as a potential hate crime. A “manifesto” had been found.

“I would like to express, on my behalf and that of the Bulgarian government, my sincerest and deepest condolences to you and to the families of those killed and injured in the tragic incident,” Borissov told Trump. “We condemn this senseless act of violence that has killed many innocent citizens.”

“On this sad day for your entire country, our thoughts are with you and all American citizens,” Borissov said.

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva sent a condolence telegram to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Foreign Ministry said.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the mass shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, in which dozens of people were injured and killed. There is no reason to justify this horrific act of violence that has claimed the lives of innocent people,” Zaharieva said, extending condolences to Pompeo and to the families of those killed and injured in the El Paso attack.

The messages from Borissov and Zaharieva were sent before news broke that there had been another mass shooting in the US, in Dayton, Ohio. First reports said that nine people were dead and 16 injured.

Counting the El Paso and Dayton shootings, there have 251 mass shootings in the US in 2019 as of August 4, resulting in 1023 people being shot, of whom 150 died.

Trump said on Twitter that the El Paso attack was an “act of cowardice.”

“I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” Trump said.

The El Paso shooting was commented on by the wide field of presidential candidates of the Democratic Party.

Joe Biden described himself as heartbroken by the news from El Paso. “Our thoughts are with those impacted by yet another senseless act of gun violence in America. How many lives must be cut short? How many communities must be torn apart?” Biden said, calling for action to end the US gun violence epidemic.

Bernie Sanders said: “After every tragedy…the Senate, intimidated by the NRA’s power, does nothing. This must change. We need a president and congress to listen to Americans, not the ideology of a right-wing extremist organization. We must pass a common sense gun safety legislation.

“We must come together to reject this dangerous and growing culture of bigotry espoused by Trump and his allies. Instead of wasting money putting children in cages, we must seriously address the scourge of violent bigotry and domestic terrorism,” he said.

“We must treat this violent racism as the security threat that it is. That means investing in law enforcement resources to combat the growing population of white nationalists who are engaging in violence,” Sanders said.

Elizabeth Warren said that the news from El Paso was devastating. “I’m heartbroken for the victims and their families. Far too many communities have suffered through tragedies like this already…We have a gun violence epidemic in this country. We need to act now”.

Beto O’ Rourke said that Trump was a racist “and he stokes racism in this country … and it leads to violence”.



The Sofia Globe staff

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