EL PASO, TX — El Paso police reported an active shooter situation at a Walmart in the Cielo Vista Mall area at 12:03 p.m. CST on Saturday.
Local police said multiple people were killed and one suspect is in custody. The suspect in the shooting has been identified as 21-year-old, Patrick Crusius from Allen, Texas, according to CNN. Police said the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed at least 20 people were killed and dozens more injured.
Police said initial reports are that a rifle was used in the shooting, but they will know more as their investigation continues.
"We did get reports initially from Walmart and secondarily at the mall, whether one happened before the other we cannot confirm," said El Paso police. Police did confirm the majority of the shootings occurred at the Walmart.
Officials received multiple reports of multiple shooters earlier in the day, but said, "As of right now, there is only person in custody. That could change. But as of right now, that's all we have." At 4:52 p.m. CST, police said there was no longer a threat to other venues or locations in the city.
Anyone who was separated from their family during the shooting should go to MacArthur Elementary to reunite with their family members, said police. Anyone who has been evacuated will be taken to that location.
Witness accounts started coming in almost immediately on social media. One witness said he heard as many as 15+ shots fired. Another said they heard a cashier had been shot.
15+ shots, And I swear I saw an older lady drop to the floor🤢😢. Check on your family— IG: wreckemray (@GeeRayAllDay_1) August 3, 2019
My sister said the cashiers at Walmart got shot. Hopefully everyone is okay. Be safe https://t.co/78YBE1AL1g— Carlitos (@CarAmaya11) August 3, 2019
At 12:09 p.m. CST, police announced the scene as still active and urged everyone to stay away from Cielo Vista Mall area.
Active Shooting Stay away from Cielo Vista Mall Area. Scene is Still Active.— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) August 3, 2019
At 12:03 p.m. CST, police first reported the active shooter situation in the area of Hawkins and Gateway East.
Active Shooter in area of Hawkins and Gateway East. Scene is still active avoid the area. RG limited information.— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) August 3, 2019
Governor Abbott released the following statement on Saturday afternoon before traveling to El Paso:
Today, the El Paso community was struck by a heinous and senseless act of violence. Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss. 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. The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are assisting the El Paso Police Department as they conduct their investigation. We have deployed troopers, special agents, Texas Rangers, tactical teams, and aircraft to the scene in a support role. The state of Texas will do everything it can to ensure justice is delivered to the perpetrators of this heinous act.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke tweeted,
Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates. https://t.co/BU0AH6Y8Rv— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019
President Trump has been briefed on the situation, saying,
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!
Representative Jeff Leach of District 67 also released a statement after learning the 21-year-old shooter was a resident of his district and graduate of Plano High School. The suspect also attended Collin College from Fall 2017 until the Spring 2019 semester, and the college said are "prepared to cooperate fully with state and federal authorities in their investigation of this senseless tragedy."