US gunman admired Christchurch shooter

THE suspect in the killing of at least 20 people in an El Paso Walmart posted an online manifesto before starting on the deadly rampage that was described by Texas law enforcement and political leaders as hate-filled and racist.

Media reports have identified 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, as the suspect in the shooting on Saturday at the Walmart in the border city.

Although authorities did not publicly confirm his identity or describe the precise contents of the manifesto, a document posted on the website 8chan hours before the rampage spoke about the "invasion" of Latino immigrants and said the writer agreed with the Australian shooter who killed worshipers at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

People flee the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso Texas after a shooting. Picture: Supplied
People flee the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso Texas after a shooting. Picture: Supplied

That document was posted by an anonymous user who posted another document. That file was taken down, and it is not clear what it contained.

A Twitter account that appeared to belong to Crusius was shut down Saturday evening. Tweets on the account had praised President Donald Trump and, in particular, his effort to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Meanwhile Trump condemned the deadly shooting at a shopping centre in El Paso, Texas, calling it a "hateful act".

"Today's shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today's hateful act," he wrote on Twitter.

"There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people. Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas."

The gunman armed with an assault-rifle mowed down and killed 20 people at the crowded Walmart and wounded 26 before being arrested.

Many of those in the store were buying back-to-school supplies when they were caught up in the rampage, which came just six days after a teenage gunman killed three people at a food festival in Northern California.

Announcing the death toll at a news conference, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said it was "one of the deadliest days in Texas history".

It was the eighth worst mass shooting in modern US history, after the 1984 shooting in San Ysidro that killed 21 people.