Officials in the US state of Texas say “numerous people today” have been killed throughout a shooting at a Walmart shop in El Paso and at least a single suspect has been taken into custody.
Texas police on Saturday stated they had “multi reports” of numerous shooters in the Cielo Vista mall region on the outskirts of El Paso city.
At least two officials – the mayor’s chief of employees Olivia Zepeda and police spokesman Enrique Carrillo – told reporters that “numerous people today had been killed” in the shooting.
Carrillo later told reporters the attack had ended with a suspect taken into custody.
“We have amongst 15 and 20 casualties, we never know the quantity of fatalities,” Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News network.
A University Health-related Center of El Paso official later confirmed a single of the 12 people today received by the hospital has died.
Ryan Mielke, a hospital spokesman, also stated two kids, aged two and 9, had been stabilised at the health-related centre prior to becoming transferred to the neighbouring El Paso Children’s Hospital.
He added that all of the victims suffered traumatic injuries, but he did not elaborate.
Adair and I are devastated by the tragic events unfolding in our City. Our hearts go out to the victims and gratitude to our initial responders. We will continue to maintain you updated. pic.twitter.com/AKzgwtVWgs
— Mayor Dee Margo (@mayor_margo) August 3, 2019
The White Home stated President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting and has spoken to Lawyer Basic William Barr and Governor Greg Abbott.
Trump later stated on Twitter the shooting was “incredibly undesirable”.
“Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas. Reports are incredibly undesirable, quite a few killed. Operating with State and Neighborhood authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total help of Federal Government. God be with you all!” Trump stated.
Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Washington, DC, stated the El Paso mayor confirmed numerous fatalities.
“We are told that 18 people today have been taken to hospital with injuries ranging from minor to vital. It is believed the dead are amongst these 18,” he stated.
A witness, who gave her name as Vanessa, stated she had just pulled into the automobile park of the Walmart and “all of a sudden you heard what sounded like fireworks, truly loud fireworks”.
“You could hear the pops, a single appropriate immediately after one more and at that point as I was turning, I saw a lady, seemed she was coming out of Walmart, headed to her automobile. She had her groceries in her cart and I saw her just fall,” she told Fox News.
The witness told Fox that she had noticed a single man open fire wearing what appeared to be combat fatigues.
“He was wearing a black T-shirt, camo coloured pants. He was wearing one thing to cover his ears, like headphones, truly thick ones.
“He was carrying a dark rifle and he was just pointing at people today and just shooting and, yeah, the final point I saw, he shot somebody that was in a corner.”
Immediately after seeing the lady fall in the parking lot, “that is when I believed, okay, this is not – these are not fireworks … He was just shooting randomly. It wasn’t to any distinct individual. It was any that would cross paths.”
Presidential candidate and former US Representative Beto O’Rourke stated he is distraught by the shooting in his hometown of El Paso.
An emotional O’Rourke told reporters in Las Vegas that he had spoken by telephone to El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, the city’s sheriff and US Representative Veronica Escobar.
O’Rourke stated he planned to return dwelling straight away to be with his family members. He asked “for everyone’s strength for El Paso appropriate now. Everyone’s resolve to make certain that this does not continue to occur in this nation”.
On his component, Mayor Margo expressed his sadness for the victims and gratitude to the initial responders in his Twitter statement.
So did Escobar, saying she was “utterly heartbroken” by the news.
Utterly heartbroken by the establishing news in El Paso. Monitoring the predicament and in communication with our law enforcement. Please remain protected.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) August 3, 2019
El Paso in West Texas, which has about 680,000 residents, sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.
It has been a specifically undesirable week for gun violence in the US. Two people today died and a police officer was wounded on Tuesday at a Walmart shop in Mississippi.
Final Sunday, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at a meals festival in northern California, killing 3, such as two kids.