EL PASO, Texas (KXAN/AP) — Twenty people are dead and 26 are injured after a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed in a press conference Saturday evening.
According to NBC News, law enforcement sources have confirmed that 20 people were shot after an alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, of Allen, Texas, opened fire inside a Walmart at the Cielo Vista Mall.
It’s the second deadliest shooting in Texas’ history.
Video taken during the shooting shows people hiding under tables while gunshots rang out through the store — one shot after another.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the initial calls of the shooting came in around 10:39 a.m. News quickly broke when El Paso Police tweeted that officers were responding to an active shooting scene and that people were advised to stay away from the area, which is near I-10 on El Paso’s east side.
In the Saturday evening press conference, Governor Abbott explained that law enforcement were able to directly confront the shooter and “get him to disarm himself” and arrest him.
Texas grieves for the people of El Paso today. On a day that would have been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping…turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.”
According to Chief Allen, the scene is being assisted by the FBI, the Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Department of Safety and Border Patrol. No first responders were injured during the event.
Allen said during the press conference that the possibility of the crime being hate-motivated is being investigated by the FBI and other federal authorities. Crusius could face capital murder charges, the chief said.
Allen said that they have a manifesto from the suspect but clarified that they are not yet sure if it belongs to him.
NBC affiliate KTSM in El Paso has given several updates on victim statuses so far. The break down by facility is:
- Del Sol Medical Center — 11 victims, nine are reported as in critical condition and two are stable
- University Medical Center — 13 victims, including a patient as young as two-years-old and senior citizen-age. One of the victims has reportedly died from injuries
In a tweet on Saturday evening, Mexican President Andrés Manuel confirmed that three of the 20 people killed were Mexican nationals.
Customers at the Cielo Vista mall during the active shooter situation.
Incidents of mass violence can have an enormous impact on survivors, witnesses, first responders and even those who see related media reports. If you are experiencing any distress related to this incident, you can call the 24/7 Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990.
Texas and national reactions
President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting Saturday and spoke to Attorney General William Barr and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. At 3:10 p.m., Trump tweeted in response to the incident:
Former Texas Representative, current presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke cancelled all planned campaign events and immediately headed back to El Paso, according to his campaign.
Texas House Representative Joe Moody, of El Paso, tweeted on Saturday afternoon: “Appreciate the outpouring of support on this dark day. State & local leaders & law enforcement are working to keep El Pasoans safe & informed. I’ll be sharing as I learn more. Please stay safe and beware of spreading unconfirmed rumors — we need facts, not fear.”
Shoppers being evacuated during active shooter situation
A group called El Pasoans Living in Austin hosted a vigil in observance of the tragedy on Saturday evening at St. Edward’s University.
KXAN on location
KXAN’s Wes Rapaport and Steffi Lee traveled to El Paso Saturday to talk to locals and find out more.
How you can help
We Are Blood, a blood supplier serving 10 counties and over 40 medical facilities in Central Texas, is reminding Austin-area residents that they can donate blood seven days a week at it main North Lamar Boulevard location and four days a week at its two satellite locations. We Are Blood says they are ready to send aid across Texas if needed.
Suspect’s grandparents say they’re ‘devastated’
The grandparents of the 21-year-old man suspected of killing 20 people at an El Paso Walmart say they are “devastated” and are praying for the victims.
KDFW reports a family friend read a statement from Larry and Cynthia Brown, grandparents of Patrick Crusius, on Sunday outside the couple’s Allen, Texas, home.
The Browns say Crusius lived at their home while he attended Collin College in nearby McKinney. They say that while his driver’s license shows the Allen residence, Crusius moved out of the home six weeks ago.
KDFW also reports officers from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been at the Browns’ home since the shooting.
Allen is more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s rampage occurred. More than two dozen people were also injured.
The FBI says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso.