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Home | Breaking News | Mass shooting at Cielo Vista Walmart kills 20, injures 26; Suspect in custody
Photos by Justin Hamel

Mass shooting at Cielo Vista Walmart kills 20, injures 26; Suspect in custody

With helicopters still circling and scores of law enforcement agencies investigating the massive crime scene, officials released the initial death toll from the mass shooting at the Walmart at Cielo Vista Mall, putting the toll at 20 dead, and 26 injured.

Governor Abbott, surrounded by elected officials from El Paso, opened the Saturday evening news conference, with ‘Texas grieves today…” as he spoke about the deadly shooting, also confirming the number of fatalities during the morning’s mass shooting at Walmart and Cielo Vista Mall.

Abbott talked about El Pasoans who were lined up at local blood donation centers throughout the city, and praised the strength of the citizens and that would carry the city through the tough times ahead.

Mayor Dee Margo was then handedthe microphone, offering his prayers and thoughts for the El Pasoans killed and injured.  He said the crime was ‘senseless and evil’  and not at all what El Paso was about.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen shared that the first call went out at 10:39 a.m. and officers arrived six minutes later at 10:45 a.m. An obviously emotional Allen simply said the entire event was a ‘horrific situation.’

As for the investigative side, Allen mentioned the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Customs and Border Protections for their assistance. The Chief also said that the State of Texas is lead agency in this situation.

“Basically everyone that carried a badge in the El Paso area showed up today,” Allen shared.

Allen also said the crime scene would be ‘in play’ for a long period of time, adding that there were still victims on scene and would remain there until the entire scene is processed.

As for the reason for the crime, Allen said that it was “looking like a hate crime,” pointing to a ‘manifesto’ that the alleged shooter shared on social media.

Chief Allen would only identify him as a ’21-year-old’ male out of Allen, Texas

Then FBI Special Agent in Charge for El Paso Emmerson Buie stated that the bureau would review evidence, and provide overall support for the murder investigation.

At the end of the news conference, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar forcefully intoned that ‘bigotry, hate and racism’ were at the core of this attack; adding that it took someone from  “outside the community to inflict this on us.”

As the press conference drew to a close, Mayor Margo simply said, “We are a special community – this would not have come from an El Pasoan.”

The full news conference is below:

***

Update 8/3/2019 10:10 p.m.

LULAC Statement in Response to Shooting in El Paso

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today declared the mass killing of 20 people and wounding of 26 others in El Paso a blatant act of racial hatred against Latinos in the United States and blamed President Trump for deliberately feeding into the anti-immigrant frenzy and white supremacist violence.

The following statement was issued today by Domingo Garcia, National President for the League of United Latin American Citizens:

“Once again, senseless gun violence strikes at the heart of another American community. We are shocked and saddened by this senseless and brutal attack of domestic terrorism, and we wish to express our deepest condolences to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

From a review of the shooter’s social media posts and his so-called manifesto, the murders appear to be motivated by hate. Innocent Latinos were targeted today, and those killed were innocent mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Today’s heinous act, like so many in the last few years, is not a random hate crime; it is domestic terrorism motived by ethnic hatred.

The xenophobic hate speech of President Trump continues to fan the flames of hatred in this country. And today, President Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and policies inspired the killing of innocent women, children, and men at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

LULAC is not and will not politicize this horrific tragedy.  However, we have an obligation to our membership and to our community to call out hate and injustice. We will not stand by while our Latino sisters and brothers, or any American, continues to be endangered by this President and his Administration.

Today, LULAC calls for the immediate convening of a FBI Special Task Force for Hate Crime Domestic Terrorism in the United States. Words, investigations, and short news cycles on mass shootings, will no longer suffice. Only resolve and action to curtail the sale of firearms meant for war will keep America safe from unstable civilians inspired by President Trump’s racial hatred.

Our membership is diverse: we are Democrats, Republicans, card carrying NRA members and gun control supporters alike. But we all agree that the xenophobic hate speech of President Trump continues to fan the flames of racial, ethnic and religious hatred in this country. The senseless hate killings in America must end now.

In the interim, LULAC is calling our members and fellow citizens to donate blood at their nearest Red Cross facility. We are setting up a page on GoFundMe to assist the families of the victims with burial and medical expenses, and will have details soon. 100% of the proceeds will go to the families. Please keep them in your prayers tonight.”

Update 8/3/2019 9:05 p.m.

State Delegation Statement on Shooting at Cielo Vista Wal-Mart

Our Fellow El Pasoans:

The mass shooting that was visited on our community today has left us both heartbroken and filled with resolve. In the face of the worst, El Paso responded with its best. We’re incredibly grateful for the work our first responders did to keep people safe and proud of how many people immediately offered to donate their blood, their services, and their time to help those affected by this shocking violence.

We’ve already worked directly with Governor Abbott to identify state funding and resources that are being deployed immediately to assist the victims and their families. You can also count on us to continue working to understand the who, what, and why behind the shooting; we’ll keep you informed as we do.

As we learn more, we intend to translate that into action in Austin. You elected us to make El Paso safe and prosperous, so we refuse to stand idly by wringing our hands as if nothing can be done to make these crimes less likely in the future. It can, so we’ll fight.

In the meantime, please join us in supporting those affected by this tragedy in every way we can. The bonds of love and fellowship we all share are stronger than the hatred and fear that confronts us now. Let’s stand in that power together and lift each other up.

El Paso Strong,

Sen. José Rodríguez Spkr. Joe Moody Rep. Mary González
Rep. César Blanco Rep. Lina Ortega Rep. Art Fierro

Update  8/3/2019 8:05 p.m.

TTUHSC El Paso President Lange Offers Condolences After Mass Shooting

Richard Lange, M.D., MBA, President of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, released the following statement in the wake of today’s mass shooting.

“We are shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred in East-Central El Paso earlier today.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this tragedy, as well as the first responders, law enforcement officials, and nurses and physicians working tirelessly at local hospitals, including our physicians from Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and TTUHSC El Paso students at University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital.

Our health sciences center stands strong with the El Paso community, and our faculty, students and staff are here for the victims and their families.

Counseling services will be made available to TTUHSC El Paso employees during this difficult time.”

Update 8/3/2019 7:05 p.m.

Statement from Mayor Margo:

Our community will not be defined by this senseless act of violence. We will be defined by the unity and compassion we show in the wake of this tragedy.  Adair and I, with the rest of El Paso will pray for and mourn those who we have lost. We will remember their lives and honor their memories together. United, our community will heal. El Paso is too strong to be broken by this cowardly act.

Update 8/3/2019 3:40 p.m.

El Paso Police Department spokesperson Robert Gomez updated the press, saying he knew of at least one death related to the shooting, but quickly added that all the victims, their condition and other information was still not available.

At least 22 victims were transported to local hospitals, where EPPD officials say blood donations are needed.  The public is directed to two locations – 424 South Mesa Hills and 133 North Zaragoza to donate.

Update 8/3/2019 3:30 p.m.

Shooting victims arrive at UMC, EPCH

University Medical Center of El Paso has received 13 patients related to today’s mass casualty shooting in El Paso. Two children have arrived and were transported to El Paso Children’s Hospital. Patients are currently being treated by surgeons and specialists at UMC, joined by physicians and staff from Texas Tech and El Paso Children’s Hospital.

We do not have a status all patients to report at this time. Families of victims are arriving at UMC and are being assisted by UMC staff and counselors. “This is a terrible tragedy and we are doing everything possible to treat and care for the victims and assist their families,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO. “Our hearts go out to all the victims of this terrible incident and we will continue to provide the best possible care in hopes of a quick recovery for all.”

“We have the very best surgeons and specialists for treating children in our region,” said Cindy Stout, EPCH President & CEO. “The children that have been brought to us have been stabilized and are receiving the best care possible.”

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego has arrived at UMC and is comforting families and providing support. “We have the very best medical care in our region supporting the victims of this terrible day.”

Update 8/3/2019 2:45 p.m.

Statement from the El Paso Community Foundation

El Paso has had to deal with a terrible tragedy. On the morning of August 3, at least one confirmed shooter entered several busy retail locations and opened fire.

The El Paso Community Foundation is accepting funds to help the families of those affected. The foundation will waive all administrative fees, and pay all credit card fees associated with this fund.

We are working with the County of El Paso and the City of El Paso to try to help in any way we can.  Go to epcf.org/victims.

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival is continuing as planned. We are not going to let this destroy our ability to come together as a community.

Keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers.

FirstLight Federal Credit Union to match donations for El Paso Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund

As we continue to mourn today’s tragic events, we are grateful for the overwhelming support and donations that have come in.
FirstLight Federal Credit Union will match the next $25,000 that is donated

Update 8/3/2019 2:30 p.m.

MEDIA STATEMENT REGARDING WALMART SHOOTING  NEAR DEL SOL MEDICAL CENTER

“Earlier today, the El Paso Police Department and emergency personnel responded to an active shooting that occurred in East El Paso. Of those involved, 11 victims ranging from 35 years old to 82 years old, were transported and are being treated at Del Sol Medical Center. Two patients are in stable condition and nine are in critical condition.

For more information, please call the patient hotline at 915-263-6999. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the El Paso community during this tragic event.”

–David Shimp, chief executive officer of Del Sol Medical Center

Update 8/3/2019 2:06 p.m.

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar Statement on Tragic Shootings in El Paso

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement after today’s tragic shootings in El Paso:
“Today, El Paso is facing the indescribable pain and horror that too many other American communities have had to endure. Our hearts are completely broken by this needless loss of life, especially here in our beautiful home. We mourn for the victims and everyone involved.

“We are grateful for the courage of our first responders, law enforcement, and El Pasoans who are helping one another. In the very difficult hours and days ahead, our community will provide the strength and comfort the survivors and their families need. And to all of us who have the power to end this horror – I am imploring that we come together, and once and for all address the gun violence epidemic that plagues our nation.”

Update 8/3/2019 1:40 p.m.

El Paso Police Department spokesperson Robert Gomez, confirms one suspect in custody related to the active shooter situation at Cielo Vista Mall. No confirmation on other suspects, but continue to investigate the scene. They are not ruling out other shooters.

At 10 a.m. 911 received calls from Walmart Cielo Vista area and Cielo Vista Mall.

There are multiple casualties. No confirmation yet on injuries or deaths. The site is being secured.

Families separated during the evacuations from the emergency scenes need to get to MacArthur Elementary at 8101 Whitus Drive. Do not approach the Walmart or Cielo Vista Mall as the investigation is on-going.

EP Locomotive FC postpones Saturday Night Match with Portland Timbers 2

In light of today’s tragedy in El Paso, Texas, tonight’s Locomotive match against Portland Timbers 2 will be postponed until further notice. More information will be disseminated once available. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and our community.

Update 8/3/2019 1:12 p.m.

Tweet from Mayor Dee Margo

Update 8/3/2019 12:37 p.m.

 

Update 8/3/2019 12:37 p.m.

Eye witness and Ft. Bliss soldier Glendon Oakly, was inside the mall as the shooting started when a child ran in and alerted to the active shooter.

“We didn’t believe him at first” he said, then he heard the richohet. He went for his concealed weapon and starting helping children out of dangers way.

He said the entire situation reminded him of his time in Afghanistan.

Update 8/3/2019 11 a.m.

***EDITOR’S NOTE***

The headline on the story previously read “Mass shooting at Walmart, Cielo Vista Mall kills 20, injures 26; Suspect in custody”

As the headline was written as information was being received by officials and relayed to the news media – the actual location subsequently changed; therefore we have edited the headline and lede to reflect the correct information.

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