Multiple people have been killed and others wounded in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. One suspect is in custody and police said there is no longer an imminent threat to the city.
The El Paso police said they received reports of an active shooter about 10 a.m. local time at the Walmart at Cielo Vista Mall.
In a briefing Saturday afternoon, El Paso spokesperson Enrique Carrillo that there were “multiple fatalities, and several people have been transported” to the hospital following the shooting.
Police have not confirmed how many victims there are, but State Rep. Cesar Blanco told MSNBC that 18 people had been shot, according to the Associated Press.
The shooting comes less than a week after a gunman killed three people, including two children, and wounded 15 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California.
Following the shooting in El Paso, police searched “multiple scenes, primarily at the Walmart but at the mall also,” Carrillo said.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo called the situation an “absolute tragedy” in an interview with local TV station KTSM. “It’s a very tragic situation, it’s not something El Paso would expect.” Margo said.
The police have advised the public to stay away from the mall, which is near Interstate 10 and on El Paso’s east side.
Federal agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said they are responding to assist local police.
Here’s what we know so far about the mass shooting at the El Paso Walmart at Cielo Vista Mall.
Who is the gunman in the El Paso shooting?
El Paso police said that they have one suspect in custody. There were initial reports that there were multiple suspects and three people in custody, but those were not accurate, police said.
“At this time we have ruled out multiple shooters,” El Paso police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Gomez said at a press conference.
Gomez did not have any details about the suspected shooter, except
that he is male.
Gomez said police were still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.
What kind of weapon was used?
Gomez said there were reports that a rifle was used in the shooting, but said that it has not yet been confirmed.
How are people responding?
Walmart responded to the shooting in a statement on Twitter, confirming the location of the shooting.
“We’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located,” the company wrote. “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.”
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss,” Abbott said. “While no words can provide the solace needed for those impacted by this event, I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in offering our prayers for the victims and their families.”