Mayor Dee Margo (lf) looks on as District Attorney Jaime Esparza talks to the press about his case against the alleged gunman.
This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Sunday. To read yesterday’s statements and view the videos, click here.
During the Sunday morning news conference various city and law enforcement officials spoke to the press and the public, providing an update for the information gathered in the last 24 hours.
Mayor Dee Margo began the news conference by simply saying that the “outpouring of support from around the nation and around the world was phenomenal.” Adding that “El Paso is a resilient city, and the incident would not define us.
Chief Greg Allen stated that the facts from Saturday ‘had not really changed,’ and that the task of removing bodies from the scene was underway. He added that the entire scene would then be handed back over for public access.
District Attorney Jaime Esparza said his department was working with all local law enforcement as well as the US Attorney’s Office as the investigation moves forward.
Esparza confirmed that the charge against the alleged gunman would be Capital Murder, and would make him eligible for the death penalty.
“We will seek the death penalty…the loss of life is so great, we certainly have not seen this in our community, we are a safe community, and certainly this community is rocked and shocked by this situation, but we will proceed…” Esparza added.
To view the entire news conference, click play above.
UPDATE 8/4 9:40 p.m.
Ysleta ISD, Vitalant to host blood drive in support of shooting victims
The Ysleta Independent School District and Vitalant will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 at the Ysleta ISD Central Office Atrium, located at 9600 Sims Drive.
The drive is in response to the call for blood donations from local hospitals that are treating victims of Saturday’s mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart. Any eligible donors who are 16-years-old or older are encouraged to bring a photo ID and donate blood during the drive.
Free Meals To First Responders and Blood Donors
Evolution proudly announces its appreciation to the city of El Paso for coming together to help the victims and families of Saturdays senseless tragedy.
This Monday and Tuesday (Aug 5thand 6th) Evolution will be giving all first responders and all blood donors free meals from 10am thru 4pm. Located at 1420 Lee Trevino, El Paso, TX 79936 (inside the Burritos Crisostomo Food Court) Free meals include one (1) choice of menu items available that range from Brisket Tacos, Chicken Tacos, Burgers or a healthy meal prep. ID/Badge or blood donor card must be shown, limit one meal.
“The El Paso community is resilient and together we will heal and overcome, no one can tear us apart or instill fear in us. This is our city and we are Strong.” Says Mando Garcia owner of Evolution Foods. “The free meals are our way to show our appreciation and to help do our part in this process, we are here for El Paso.”
Evolution is based in El Paso’s eastside and serves healthy meal preps with vegetarian and keto options. Meal preps are available for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The kitchen also serves lunch Monday-Friday which includes; Tacos, Burgers and more. Located at 1420 Lee Trevino, inside the Burritos Crisostomo Food Court.
UPDATE 8/4 9:05 p.m.
Statement from UTEP President Diana Natalicio Regarding Aug. 3 Events in El Paso
“All of us at UTEP share with our fellow El Pasoans the pain of recent horrific events in our community, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families whose lives have been most directly affected. The UTEP family stands together with you as we confront this incomprehensible tragedy and its aftermath. El Paso is a deeply caring and resilient community, and these qualities will enable us to become even stronger as we work together through this difficult period. On the UTEP campus, we will do all that we can to support our students, faculty and staff as they seek to cope with this tragic situation. Our students are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Counseling and Psychological Services staff on campus or call the Miners Talk Crisis Line, and support is available for our faculty and staff through the employee assistance program.”
– UTEP President Diana Natalicio
UPDATE 8/4 7:05 p.m.
UMC, EPCH GIVE UPDATE ON PATIENTS FROM SHOOTING
University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital today provided an update on the patients treated as a result of the mass casualty shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3.
The total number of patients brought to UMC as a result of the shooting is now 15. Of those, two are children with non-life threatening injuries. These two children were discharged today. One adult patient is a transfer from another hospital, in need of surgery with injuries caused by the shooting.
Another patient has died, and two other patients have been discharged.
The remaining 10 patients range in condition from stable to critical.
Another update will be provided Aug. 5.
UPDATE 8/4 6:45 p.m.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar Remarks During Press Conference with El Paso Elected Officials and Community and Faith Leaders in Response to Domestic Terrorism Investigation
We are taking a moment from the time we’ve been spending with families and the community of El Paso to make a statement about the decision announced earlier today by United States Attorney John Bash, who confirmed that the Department of Justice would be investigating the massacre in our community as domestic terrorism.
But before we do that, we must make some acknowledgements.
First, we again recognize the valor and quick response by local, state and federal law enforcement, our firefighters, ambulance services, as well as the incredible work of the doctors, nurses, techs, and all healthcare professionals in our community. Our first responders saved more lives than we even understand.
Second, we thank the heroes — the women and men who aren’t with law enforcement, but who are civilians who jumped in to save children, the elderly, and many others who benefitted from their courage in those terrifying moments. There’s no doubt that we will be hearing countless stories of heroism by every day El Pasoans in the days and weeks to come.
And finally, we thank the community. In El Paso, everyone is family. And when family needs you, we are there.
El Pasoans, from the moment we learned of the horrific events, we have opened up their hearts and wrapped their arms around those in pain and suffering.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow and the weeks and months to come will be no different.
We encourage those who can make donations to visit the El Paso Community Foundation or Paso del Norte Community Foundation webpages, where they have established victims relief funds. They are coordinating the financial support we’d all like to provide to families who have lost loved ones, and families whose loved ones are recovering.
El Paso is resilient and strong, and as long as there is someone in need, we will be there. Nothing will or can change that.
But we would be remiss if we did not address the determination by the Department of Justice.
We are heartened that this has been recognized for what it is: a racially-motivated terrorist attack on our safe and tranquil community.
The shooter came into our community because we are a Hispanic community and because we have immigrants in our community. He came here to harm us.
The Department of Justice and local law enforcement have identified this as being motivated by hate.
And it is this hate that is at the root of much suffering in our country. There are deadly consequences to bigotry, racism and hate. There are deadly consequences to dehumanizing our fellow human beings.
Domestic terrorism is one of those deadly consequences, and we stand together in calling for our federal government to hear the alarm sounded by federal law enforcement about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.”
To Immediately instruct federal agencies and law enforcement to draft a national plan to deal with white supremacy and domestic terrorism as a national crisis.
And support legislation and funding that would deal with the national emergency that we face with both the gun violence epidemic as well as the hate epidemic plaguing our country.
El Paso is an incredible community — we have been safe for decades. Historically, El Paso has led the nation in its desegregation and integration efforts; and during moments of crisis, we’ve demonstrated to the country how we treat strangers and the most vulnerable in our midst. We will continue to do this because we have chosen to face challenges with decency, strength and love.
We will continue to celebrate our diversity, and come together in unity, especially during times of strife. We will persevere.
And we have a request of our fellow Americans. If we are to honor all of fallen, the survivors, their families and their communities in El Paso, Ohio and across the country, we can only do that by treating one another — everyone — with dignity and kindness. El Pasoans are doing that – we have done that – and we ask everyone to join us
UPDATE 8/4 4:35 p.m.
MEDIA STATEMENT FROM DEL SOL MEDICAL CENTER
“Following the mass shooting on Saturday in El Paso, Texas, 11 victims were transported and treated at Del Sol Medical Center. As of August 4, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. MT, eight patients remain in this hospital, with three in critical condition and five in stable condition. Two patients have been discharged, and one patient has been transferred to another El Paso-area hospital.
“I am incredibly grateful to the physicians, nurses and staff here in El Paso who have worked tirelessly to care for the victims and their families this weekend.”
–David Shimp, chief executive officer of Del Sol Medical Center
UPDATE 8/4 10:45 a.m.
City officials hold press conference providing updates on yesterday’s deadly shooting (see video above)
UPDATE 8/4 10:35 a.m.
In response to the horriﬁc shooting and loss of life that unfolded today in the borderlands, the Interfaith Alliance of the Southwest will hold a faith vigil – Sunday August 4th. The vigil will be held at Ponder Park, located at 7500 W H Burges Drive.
A prelude with music at 6:30 pm will be followed by inter-faith prayer, reﬂection and mourning at 7pm.
Parishes around the Diocese of El Paso will be holding prayer vigils in response to the horriﬁc events of the last 24 hours. Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in the North East will have a holy hour with exposition from 3-4pm and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the Lower Valley will hold a prayer vigil at the parish at 7pm.
UPDATE 8/4 8:15 a.m.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz, D.D. Statement on El Paso Mass Shooting August 3, 2019
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5: 4
After this tragic day in El Paso my heart is ﬁlled with sadness for the many victims and their families. Saturday began like any other. People were going about their daily activities. Some chose to stop by the local Walmart to pick up some things. And then hatred and evil insanity interjected their senseless aggression.
As a minister I am called to be present to those who suffered this attack and to their families. I need to do so with a sense of composure. But as I visited with victims and those they love my heart was breaking within me. Their questions are mine as well. Why the innocent children? Why the mothers with babes in their arms? Why should any human being ever be subjected to such violence?
Once again in our nation we see the face of evil. We see the effects of a mind possessed by hatred. We see the effects of the sinful and insipid conviction that some of us are better than others of us because of race, religion, language or nationality. “He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed! For justice, but hark, the outcry!” (Isa. 5:7).
In the last several months, the borderlands have shown the world that generosity, compassion and human dignity are more powerful than the forces of division. The great sickness of our time is that we have forgotten how to be compassionate, generous and humane. Everything is competition. Everything is greed. Everything is cold. Tenderness and the love that knows no borders are cruciﬁed in a whirlwind of deadly self-seeking, fear and vindictiveness.
It was precisely to confront this diabolic evil that God sent his Son into the world. It was to enter into the midst of this and to experience its full force that the innocent one, Jesus, experienced his passion and cross. Just when it appeared that evil had won the day Christ rose victorious!
This is my hope for all who have suffered this violence today and for our community. The Christ who suffered is in our midst. He is our companion. We trust he will raise up the fallen, bring healing to the victims and console our broken community.
Our El Paso community will indeed rise above this terrible day. Our God is a loving God, greater than hatred, more powerful than evil. We trust that we will witness the fulﬁllment of his words, “See, I make all things new!” (Rev. 21:5) Today let us mourn the dead and pray for them.
Tomorrow let us recommit to love. And let us all brace ourselves for just action that will overcome the forces of division and build a more loving society.
Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, DD Bishop of El Paso
Letters to the Editor – 8/4
EL PASO LOSS
I got up this morning to discover that while I had been sleeping El Paso had been thrown into darkness. The type of darkness that on some days you will wonder if you will ever see a glimpse of the sun again.
But right now – I hope, somehow it may lighten your load to know we are weeping with you.
One individual cannot bring down a City like El Paso. From experience in I can tell you it has the opposite effect. And as each individual is ready there will be A sunrise.
Take care of each other – “YOU ARE ONE”
JOANNE PARK, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Oh God! Why El Paso? I grew up on your streets. I attended your school’s there. My life was painted in El Paso.
Every other town I have lived, I have thought back to El Paso. I’ve never cried for El Paso, except tonight.
I can’t be there physically, but mentally people of El Paso God is with you.