At least 20 people killed in El Paso, Texas shopping mall shooting; suspect in custody

National

Twenty people were killed and 26 others were wounded after a shooter went on a rampage Saturday at a Walmart in the Texas border town of El Paso, police said. A 21-year-old man was taken into custody after police responded to an active shooter scene at the Cielo Vista Mall.

The suspect, who was captured on surveillance video entering the Walmart, has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, CBS News has confirmed. Sergeant Robert Gomez, a police spokesman, said the suspect was taken into custody “without incident” and there was no longer danger to the public.  

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Law enforcement sources tell CBS News this is a surveillance video image of the gunman walking into the Walmart.  CBS

Gomez said he thinks most of the victims were shot at the Walmart in the shopping complex. He said the store was “at capacity” as many customers were there to buy back-to-school supplies. 

Earlier, El Paso police tweeted they had received reports of “multiple shooters” but they later said they did not believe there was more than one gunman. Police also said reports of a shooting at another location were “false.”  

University of Medical Center of El Paso told CBS News it had also received 11 shooting victims, including one who died. They said a 4-month-old child was among the patients it was treating. Hospital spokesman Ryan Mielke said all of the victims suffered traumatic injuries in Saturday’s attack. He declined to provide additional details about the victims, including the one who died. Mielke said two children, ages 2 and 9, were stabilized at the medical center before being transferred to the neighboring El Paso Children’s Hospital.

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Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Del Sol Medical Center told CBS News it was treating 11 patients from the shooting. It said nine were in critical but stable condition, and two were stable. The patients ranged in age from 35 to 82.

Witness Ray Holguin told CBS News that he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard more than 10 gunshots. He said he saw at least one person, an elderly lady, fall to the ground, but he’s not sure if she was shot.

Walmart released a statement, saying it was working with law enforcement and “praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders.”

President Donald Trump tweeted: “Reports are very bad, many killed.” 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting “a heinous and senseless act of violence.” He said the state had deployed a number of law enforcement officers to the city. 

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said on Twitter she was “heartbroken” by the incident and was monitoring the situation. Her predecessor, presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, appeared shaken as he spoke at a candidate forum in Las Vegas on Saturday shortly after news of the shooting in his hometown was reported. 

O’Rourke said he had called his wife before taking the stage and said the shooting shatters “any illusion that we have that progress is inevitable” on tackling gun violence. 

The Democrat said he’d heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon, saying we need to “keep that (expletive) on the battlefield and do not bring it into our communities.”

“We have to find some reason for optimism and hope or else we consign ourselves to a future where nearly 40,000 people are year will lose their lives to gun violence and I cannot accept that,” O’Rourke said.

The Texas Department of Transportation provided information on how to donate blood.

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