Mass Shooting at El Paso Walmart Many Killed and Wounded
One suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso is in custody. He has been identified in press reports as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old man from Dallas. Crusius is allegedly the man seen in surveillance footage walking in through the front entrance of the Walmart with an AK-47 assault rifle
Nearly two dozen people were reportedly killed and at least 22 others, including a four-month-old baby, were wounded on Saturday after a gunman reportedly opened fire inside a Walmart in El Paso.
One suspect is in custody.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo confirmed that there were multiple fatalities.
Dan Patrick, Texas’ lieutenant governor, said that the suspect in custody is a 21-year-old male.
Del Sol Medical Center said the hospital received 11 victims – nine of them listed in critical but stable condition.
Two of those treated were in stable condition.
The University Medical Center of El Paso received 13 patients, a spokesperson said.
Two minors, including a two-year-old, were stabilized and transferred to El Paso Children’s Hospital.
The victims’ conditions ranged from minor injury to fatal.
Reports on social media indicate that a manifesto written by the alleged shooter has been making the rounds on various web sites.
Shortly after, Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, a police spokesman, said a suspect was in custody and there was no longer dangerous to the public.
A local NBC affiliate, KTSM-TV, is reporting that at least 18 people were killed.
‘Active Shooting Stay away from Cielo Vista Mall Area. The scene is Still Active,’ the police department tweeted on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, the police tweeted: ‘Active Shooter in area of Hawkins and Gateway East.’
Hawkins and Gateway are two streets that flank the Walmart. El Paso police later confirmed that the active shooter was inside a Walmart, according to USA Today.
At least three other businesses in the area were also on lockdown, including a Red Lobster franchise and a Hooter’s location.
One witness said he saw at least one person inside the store with a fatal head wound, and he saw shoppers in bloodied clothes.
Video posted on Twitter showed customers at one department store being evacuated with their hands up.
‘Hands in the air!’ an officer can be heard shouting in the footage.
‘We heard shots and saw smoke,’ said Victor Gamboa, 18, who works at the McDonald’s inside the Walmart store where the shooting took place.
‘I saw a man on the floor full of blood. He appeared to be dead. It happened very quickly.’
Gamboa said employees sheltered customers who huddled on the ground during the shooting rampage.
They were on the ground for some 15 minutes until officers arrived and led the survivors to a Sam’s Club across the street.
A family of three was one of a dozen waiting outside a local bus station, trying to get back to their car, in blocked-off Walmart parking lot.
‘I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction,’ said Adriana Quezada, 39, who was in Walmart with in the women’s clothing section with her two children.
She said she saw four men, dressed in black, wearing shirts, moved together firing guns indiscriminately.
‘I saw four men, shooting everywhere,’ Quezada said.
‘I told my son, those are gunshots.’
Her daughter, 19, and son, 16, threw themselves on the ground, then ran out of the Walmart through an emergency exit.
They were unhurt.
Evan McMorris-Santoro, a reporter for the Vice news site, tweeted that he was at a town hall event for House Rep. Veronica Escobar when it was shut down due to the situation nearby.
Morris-Santoro clarified that the scene was ‘not close to us.’
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. congressman who represented El Paso, tweeted: ‘Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso.
‘Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.’
After his tweet, O’Rourke said he was distraught by the news of the mass shooting in his hometown.
An emotional O’Rourke told reporters on Saturday in Las Vegas that he had spoken by phone to El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, the city’s sheriff and U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar.
He says they were still learning details about the attack at or near the Cielo Vista Mall, in which police say multiple people were killed and a suspect was taken into custody.
O’Rourke said he planned to return home immediately to be with his family.
He asked ‘for everyone’s strength for El Paso right now. Everyone’s resolve to make sure that this does not continue to happen in this country.’
O’Rourke’s successor, House Rep. Veronica Escobar, tweeted: ‘Utterly heartbroken by the developing news in El Paso.
‘Monitoring the situation and in communication with our law enforcement. Please stay safe.’
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted: ‘In El Paso, the Texas Dept. of Public Safety is assisting local law enforcement & federal authorities to bring this tragedy to the swiftest & safest possible conclusion.
‘We thank all First Responders for their courageous response & urge all area residents to remain safe.’
The White House says President Trump has been briefed on the shooting and has spoken to Attorney General William Barr and Abbott.
Trump tweeted: ‘Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement.
‘Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!’
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives announced that it has dispatched federal agents to the scene to assist local law enforcement.
‘Please stay away from the area and refrain from posting first responder activity on social media,’ the ATF’s Dallas bureau tweeted on Saturday.
A family that was shopping near Walmart during the shooting sought cover in nearby Landry’s Seafood, hostess Sofia Cervantes told USA TODAY.
‘They are in shock right now,’ Cervantes said. ‘They were barely able to talk to us.’
An employee of a nearby Olive Garden told The New York Times that the restaurant has also been placed in lockdown.
At least 10 people ran into the restaurant seeking cover, the employee said.
‘We don’t have any information, just that there’s an active shooter at the Walmart in the same parking lot as we are,’ the employee said.
‘We’re just on lockdown right now.
‘The SWAT team just came in and told us that they had cleared the building and told us to lock the doors.’
An assistant manager at a Men’s Wearhouse in the Cielo Vista Mall said at least 15 people came into the store when the shooting started.
Susana Franco said police officers, military and the SWAT team could be seen from her store’s front windows.
‘They’re not letting people in the parking lot,’ she said. ‘They’re trying to evacuate all of them from the mall.
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