Mark Lambie/El Paso Times via Imagn Content Services

20 dead, 26 injured in mass shooting at El Paso shopping area

Gov. Abbott: "One of the most deadly days in the history of Texas"

August 03, 2019 - 6:44 pm
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EL PASO, Texas (Talk1370.com) -- 20 people are dead and dozens more were injured Saturday in a shooting at an El Paso shopping mall.

El Paso Police say the shooting happened at a Walmart store at the Cielo Vista Mall on the east side of the city, with 911 calls beginning to come in around 10:36 a.m. local time Saturday morning. The scene continued across a parking lot into the mall itself, where shoppers hurriedly evacuated during back-to-school shopping.

Hours later, the scene remained an active crime scene with investigators combing a large area, although officials said they believed there was no longer an imminent threat to the public.

In a press conference with local and state officials Saturday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed 20 people had died. Officials said another 26 were injured in the shooting.

According to police, up to 3,000 shoppers were estimated to have been in the area at the time.

Police say the suspect - described as a 21-year old white male with ties to North Texas - was taken into custody without incident. Officials say that, despite early reports, they have not yet been able to find any evidence of additional suspects being involved.

Officials said there is also no concrete word on a motive right now, although investigators are examining a purported manifesto posted online as the shooting began that indicates the shooting may have been a hate crime.

Across El Paso, volunteers were lining up to donate blood. Lines were reported at several donation stations that had been set up across the city.

In an earlier statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting a "heinous and senseless act of violence".

Rep. Veronica Escobar, who was holding a town hall nearby, reacted to the shooting on Twitter.

Also reacting on Twitter was former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate who hails from El Paso.

Later Saturday, O'Rourke pulled himself off the campaign trail to return home.

The mass shooting in El Paso came less than a week after a gunman opened fire on a California food festival. Three died and 13 others were injured last Sunday at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival, before the shooter took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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