Multiple people were killed on Saturday afternoon during a shooting at a Walmart shopping center in El Paso, Texas. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that at least 15 people had died.
In an interview with broadcaster CBS, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton put the number of people killed at “between probably 15 or 20.”
An El Paso police spokesperson told reporters that a white male suspect in his 20s was currently in custody. There were initial reports that the gunman had used a rifle.
“We can confirm there were multiple victims, I can’t confirm the numbers,” said spokesperson Robert Gomez. He told reporters that authorities had ruled out the possibility of multiple shooters.
Hospitals said they were treating 22 victims from the shooting, not including one individual who had died during treatment.
Police said most of the victims were shot at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall. Gomez said the Walmart was “at capacity” with between 1,000 to 3,000 shoppers at the time of the shooting.
‘Heinous and senseless act’
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said in a statement that there had been “several fatalities.”
“Our hearts go out to the victims and gratitude to our first responders,” he added in a statement on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump also responded to the incident on Twitter, writing: “Reports are very bad, many killed.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said El Paso was “struck by a heinous and senseless act of violence.”
247 US mass shootings in 2019: Gun Violence Archive
El Paso, which is home to around 680,000 residents, is located in western Texas and sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.
The violence in El Paso comes on the heels of another deadly shooting in California, which saw a 19-year-old gunman open fire at a food festival on Wednesday. Three people were killed, including two children. On Tuesday, two people were killed and a police officer was wounded in another shooting at a Walmart in Mississippi.
There have been 247 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.
rs, dr/cmk (AP, dpa, AFP)