CORTESE: El Paso’s Memorial Service Was The First Step To A Stronger Community

The Daily Caller | 8/18/2019 | Staff
hoppers911 (Posted by) Level 4
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On Aug. 14, I attended El Paso’s memorial service for victims of the mass shooting that took the lives of 22 people from the United States and Mexico. I’m glad I did.

I’m not a big believer in coincidences, so I thought it interesting when I found myself on the same flight to El Paso as Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan. Morgan is the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office. I worked briefly with him at FBI HQ when I was in the Public Corruption Unit and he was serving as the acting deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division.

Pleasantries - Face - Look - Professional - Morgan

We exchanged a few pleasantries, but his face emanated a look that was all too familiar. A consummate professional, Morgan’s smile did little to mask the seriousness and solemnity of the day. It was not unlike the look I saw on former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s face when he flew to Tucson after the mass shooting in 2011 that victimized Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

I was assigned to the Tucson office of the FBI in 2011 when that tragedy took the life of a federal district judge and five other innocent people. Twelve others sustained injuries from gun shots, including Giffords. And like the shooting in El Paso, it was a massive shock that made victims of an entire community.

Investigation - Saturday - Morning - Shots - Grocery

I was working an unrelated investigation that Saturday morning in 2011 when the shots rang out at that grocery store just a couple miles from my house. And when the shooting stopped, so too did every other investigation in the local FBI office. It was an all-hands effort for many weeks following the shooting. As a result, I was unable to attend the Tucson Memorial Service, so there was something cathartic about attending...
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