El Paso to open a healing garden for victims of Walmart shooting

El Paso to open a healing garden for victims of Walmart shooting

— Officials in El Paso will unveil a garden Tuesday, intended to bring healing two years after a gunman injured at a Walmart opened fire on 23 people in an attack that stunned the U.S. and Mexico.

Many of the events commemorating the first anniversary of the shooting will be affected again by precautions for coronavirus pandemic. The dedication of the healing garden — in a county park space dedicated to quiet reflection among water and plants — will be closed to the public. Victims' families and officials will take part in the ceremony which will be livestreamed.

Another socially distant observance would include a luminaria drive-thru. Luminarias are traditional lanterns made from paper bags, sand and candles or LED light.

Read more: One year after Mass shooting, El Paso residents grapple with white supremacy.

The shooting occurred on Aug. 3, 2019, on a weekday at a Walmart, typically popular with shoppers from Mexico and the U.S.

Authorities say Patrick Crusius — charged with capital murder under Texas law and hate crime charges at the federal level — confessed to driving more than 600 miles from his home in El Paso to target Mexicans. Just before the attack, the FBI said, he posted a racist screed online just before the attack. He has pleaded not guilty, and his defense lawyers have said he suffers severe'mental disabilities.

In addition to those hurt, more than two dozen were killed. El Paso is a largely International City that forms an indigenous metro area with Ciudad Juarez of more than 2 million people. South Side of the U.S. - side, they extend into New Mexico.

The weekend after the shooting in Texas was shockingly violent in El Paso. Hours after the killings in Dayton, Ohio, another shooter killed nine people in a popular nightlife area of Texas.