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Pastor Valentin Fontanez in Lake Worth reacts to El Paso shooting

Posted at 7:39 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 19:39:10-04

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Latino communities all across the U.S. are heartbroken by the tragedy in El Paso. The massacre is one of two mass shootings this past weekend and one police say specifically targeted Hispanics.

Many Hispanics in the Lake Worth community already live in fear of ICE raids, being separated from their family, and being deported. The shooting in El Paso doesn't necessarily increase that fear, but it does add to their already heightened awareness

In his small but growing church, Pastor Valentin Fontanez preaches to the immigrant community in Lake Worth about more than just religion.

"So they understand this is a country of law and order," said Fontanez in Spanish.

Pastor Fontanez says he helps immigrant families adjust to living in the U.S., but the news that Hispanic families like the ones in his church were targeted in El Paso, angers him.

"It's sad to see how people still have racist views," said Fontanez.

Police say parents and children doing back to school shopping at Walmart were shot at by a gunman who allegedly wanted to kill Hispanics. Police say he posted a four-page long document with anti-immigrant and racial views before the massacre.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw posted on twitter that the PBSO Homeland Security is closely monitoring religious institutions and Hispanic business to prevent any copycat incident.

"The Hispanic community always lives in fear of many things," said Pastor Fontanez, but says it is also resilient.

PBSO reminds you if you see something, say something. Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.