Numerous people were killed at a mass shooting in an El Paso shopping center today (Aug. 3). According to NBC, law enforcement officials have reported at least 19 dead and 40 injured.
As of Saturday afternoon, details were still emerging about the incident, which began just after 10am local time. That’s when people began posting news of a gunman inside a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall, in a commercial district of the city, on social media. Apparent witnesses also shared videos of shoppers running for cover.
Several businesses, including three restaurants, went on lockdown, and officials warned people to stay away from the area.
The El Paso police have confirmed that a suspect is in custody, a white male in his 20s, and that the gunman used a rifle in the attack. Although early reports suggested multiple shooters, the police did not believe the situation continued to be dangerous.
This is the third mass shooting in the US in one week. A few days ago, two people were shot and killed in a Walmart store in Southhaven, Mississippi, near Memphis. And last Sunday (July 27), three people, including a six-year-old boy, were murdered by a gunman at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, in Gilroy, California. Thirteen others were injured.
Former US congressman Beto O’Rourke, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, responded to the news on Twitter, stating that he was devastated by the news from his hometown. “Our commitment is with those who will change this country so that this doesn’t happen again,” he said, referring to gun control advocates.
He also announced during a campaign trip to California and Nevada that he would be returning to his hometown. He told reporters that the shooting destroys “any illusion that we had that progress is inevitable or that the change that we need is going to come of its own accord.”
This article has been updated to reflect new information about the alleged gunman in custody.