Washington: At least 20 people have been killed and 24 others injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The massacre took place at 10 AM on Saturday near the Cielo Vista Mall, a few miles from the US-Mexico border. Police said the Walmart was ‘at capacity’ with shoppers buying back-to-school supplies at the time of the attack.
A 21-year-old white man from Allen, who is believed to be the sole gunman has been taken into custody. The suspect has been named by the US media as Patrick Crusius, a resident of the Dallas area.
“The only suspect was a white male in his 20s. No officers had fired their weapons in apprehending him. We have secured Walmart and we have secured Cielo Vista Mall. We don’t feel that there is a threat to the public or that there are any other shooters at this time,” Police spokesman Sergeant Robert Gomez said.
Confirming the death toll, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and El Paso police said,”20 people have been killed and 26 others wounded in a shooting at an El Paso shopping center.” Abott said it was “one of the deadliest days in Texas history.”
Trump Pledges ‘Total Support’
“Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!,” the US president tweeted.
Later the White House released a further statement which read,”The President continues to receive updates from his national security team on the tragic shootings in El Paso. Federal Government personnel, including the FBI and ATF, are on the ground in El Paso actively assisting local authorities, who are leading the response to the shootings. The President has pledged the full support of the Federal Government to Governor Abbott. ”
Recalling the deadly moment, a man who was in the shopping centre at the time of the attack said,”There were employees, they were coming in and they would tell me that they heard some gunshots and that people just started bolting straight into the store in order to get to cover. In the meantime I was just trying to stay calm, but I was freaking out internally.”
Another witness, Glendon Oakly, said he was in a sporting goods store inside the shopping centre when a child ran inside “telling us there’s an active shooter at Walmart”.
Oakly said no-one took the child’s claim seriously, but just minutes later he heard two gunshots. “I just thought about getting the kids out of the way,” he said.
Mass Shooting at California Food Festival
The massacre at Walmart in Texas comes just six days after three people were killed and 15 injured in a shooting at an open air food festival in California. The gunman, Santino William Legan (19) was shot dead by the police soon after he fired at the people who had gathered at the annual garlic festival in Gilroy.