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The Latest: El Paso-area trustee critical of cancelling game

August 16, 2019
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A man salutes during a memorial service for the victims of the Aug. 3 mass shooting, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, at Southwest University Park, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Jorge Salgado)
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A man salutes during a memorial service for the victims of the Aug. 3 mass shooting, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, at Southwest University Park, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Jorge Salgado)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of a shooting that killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

An El Paso-area school board member is critical of the decision to cancel a game between one of the board’s high schools and the Dallas-area school attended by the suspect in the Aug. 3 mass shooting.

The Plano school district in suburban Dallas canceled the scheduled Sept. 6 game between Eastwood High School in El Paso and Plano Senior High School, alma mater of Patrick Crosius. El Paso police have said Crosius has confessed to being the gunman who shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart about three miles from the Eastwood campus.

Eastwood is part of the Ysleta (ee-SLEH’-tah) Independent School District. District school board member Kathryn Lucero tells the El Paso Times that she and fellow trustees became aware of the issue Wednesday and learned that Plano officials had concerns about their ability to provide security at the football game at Plano’s stadium.

The Ysleta district offered to host the game in El Paso or to play Plano Senior at a neutral site, but the Plano district rejected both proposals.

Lucero said the El Paso community and its children are already suffering from the pain and trauma of the massacre and a football game would add some normalcy to an otherwise difficult time.

She said she and her colleagues “don’t agree with the way this is being handled in Plano.” She said: “It’s not fair to the kids, who just want to play football,” and that “it’s really unfortunate that the Plano district is unable to stand up to the fear.”

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6:15 p.m.

A police spokesman says a Sept. 6 football game between an El Paso high school and the school attended by the suspect in the El Paso mass shooting was cancelled because of fear of it becoming a platform for extremists.

Plano Independent School District officials announced Thursday the cancellation of the game between Plano Senior High School and El Paso’s Eastwood High School. El Paso police have said Plano Senior alumnus Patrick Crusius had confessed to targeting Mexicans in the Aug. 3 shootings that killed 22 people at a Walmart three miles from the Eastwood campus.

Tilley says Superintendent Sara Bonser had voiced concern to Plano Police Chief Greg Rushin that the game could potentially provide a platform for those with extremist political agenda to amplify their message. Tilley said Rushin agreed with Bonser’s assessment and that “they decided to err on the side of caution.”

Authorities believe Crusius was the author of an anti-immigrant rant posted before the attack to an online site that is sometimes used as a forum for white nationalists. ___

4:10 p.m.

A football game between an El Paso high school and the suburban Dallas school where the suspect in the El Paso mass shooting attended has been cancelled.

Plano school district officials said Thursday they cancelled the game that had been scheduled between Plano Senior High School and El Paso’s Eastwood High School for Sept.6 in Plano.

A Plano school district statement said administrators felt obligated to act out of concern for the safety of players, students, families and communities. Superintendent Sara Bonser said “what should be a celebratory event would be encumbered by safety concerns for the participants and fans of both teams.”

A Plano police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. However, police spokesman David Tilley said in an email to The Associated Press that Plano police had received no credible threat against the event.

The two schools had faced each other for the first time last year.

The Eastwood campus is situated about three miles from the Walmart where 22 people were killed Aug. 3 . El Paso police say Plano Senior High School alumnus Patrick Crusius has confessed to the massacre.

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This version of the story corrects the spelling of Crusius in the last paragraph of the 4:10 p.m. item.

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3:45 p.m.

The mayor of El Paso says President Trump called him a derisive term for Republicans deemed insufficiently conservative during a visit to the grieving city last week.

Mayor Dee Margo told PBS’s “Frontline” in an interview published Wednesday that Trump called him a “RINO” in a private conversation after the president paid his respects to the victims of the shooting that killed 22 people and wounded dozens more. The term stands for “Republican in Name Only.”

Margo says Trump made the comment after he corrected the president’s “misinformation” about the border city’s violent crime rate. The pair has sparred over the issue before.

In February, Trump falsely suggested a border barrier caused a sharp drop in El Paso’s crime. The city’s murder rate was actually less than half the national average in 2005, the year before the border fence was erected.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment

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12:45 p.m.

Police in El Paso are trying to identify a man who they say saved several lives during the mass shooting earlier this month at a Walmart.

El Paso police on Thursday shared a surveillance camera photo of the man, saying that he’s considered a “hero” and that authorities need to interview him. Police said on Twitter that the man’s actions were “critical and lifesaving” and that he’s believed to have saved many lives during the shooting, including an infant’s.

El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo says police are not releasing details of what the man did because that information is needed to verify his identity.

Police say a gunman has confessed to targeting Mexicans in the Aug. 3 attack in which 22 people were killed.

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