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Walmart donates $400,000 as part of ‘thoughtful’ response to El Paso shooting

Walmart announced Wednesday it is donating $400,000 to funds aimed at helping victims of the mass shooting that occurred at its east El Paso store last weekend.

The cash donations were being made to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Fund and Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund, the company said.

Meantime, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the company will continue to respond in a “thoughtful and deliberate” way to the tragedy.

McMillon said he traveled to El Paso after the attack, which is now being investigated as a hate crime, and promised to continue to promote diversity in the El Paso community.

“As it becomes clearer that the shooting in El Paso was motivated by hate, we are more resolved than ever to foster an inclusive environment where all people are valued and welcomed,” McMilon wrote in a letter posted to LinkedIn. “Our store in El Paso is well known as a tight-knit community hub for people in the region, where we serve customers from both sides of the border. I continue to be amazed at the strength and resilience that we find in the diversity of the communities where we live and work.

In the aftermath, Walmart has faced mounting pressure to stop selling guns. Walmart is one of the largest sellers of guns and ammunition in the United States, but company officials said Walmart’s policy on gun sales has not changed.

“We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates and communities,” McMillion wrote.

McMillon said he and employees are struggling to describe their feelings about the shootings, but he noted people are feeling a wide range of emotions, including “shock, anger and grief.”

He offered praise to the many who offered assistance during the mass shooting. In addition to thanking the first responders, McMillon named several employees who rushed in to help during the attack.

“We heard incredible stories of associates who made heroic efforts to get customers to safety,” he wrote. “From our Store Manager, Robert, who was leaving the store and then ran back in when he heard the shots, to Gilbert and Lasonya, who helped dozens of customers to safety out the back of the store, to Mayra, who may have been the very first responder and did an exceptional job, bandaging wounds and helping customers escape.”

He continued, “When the worst happens, we counter with our best selves. We support each other, pray together, stand firm and heal together.”

Grief counselors were being made available to employees for support, McMillon wrote.

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