At least 20 people shot, multiple fatalities, in El Paso Walmart
Multiple people were killed in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and one suspect is now in custody after the latest U.S. mass shooting sent panicked shoppers fleeing.
El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told reporters that there were more than 20 casualties, a number that could include fatalities and people wounded.
Police have ruled out the possibility that there were multiple shooters.
“This is just a tragedy that I’m having a hard time getting my arms around,” El Paso mayor Dee Margo told CNN.
He could not immediately say how many people were killed, or give any other details about the suspect.
The El Paso Police Department said the scene remained active around the Cielo Vista Mall, near the WalMart, but said there was no imminent threat to the public.
“There isn’t an imminent threat. There’s no active shooter currently, but that isn’t to say we’ve rendered the scene safe at this time,” El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told reporters.
He asked people who cannot reach loved ones to go to a family reunification centre at a local middle school, instead of heading to the shopping centre.
Watch: El Paso police provides details to reporters at the scene of a deadly shooting:
A police officer provides details to reporters at the scene of a deadly shooting at an El Paso, Texas shopping complex on Saturday. 1:12
Walmart said in a statement: “We’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located. “We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.”
Video posted on Twitter appeared to show one department store being evacuated with customers holding their hands in the air.
⚠️Video from inside JCPENNY in Cielo Vista Mall as it was being evacuated, due to an active shooter in the area. <br>Video: Victoria Balderrama <a href=”https://t.co/7v67DL4mPG”>pic.twitter.com/7v67DL4mPG</a>
Multiple law enforcement agencies raced to the scene, including police, state troopers, Homeland Security agents and border patrol.
One witness said he saw at least one person inside the store with a fatal head wound, and he saw shoppers in bloodied clothes.
Other stores at the nearby mall were also locked down as police officers cleared the shopping centre in the east of the city, which lies on the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
“Hands in the air!” an officer can be heard shouting in the footage.
It is the second mass shooting this week in the U.S. On Sunday, a teenage gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle on the crowd at a food festival in Northern California, killing three people before fatally shooting himself.