Active Shooter Reported At El Paso Mall, Police Confirm Injuries, Fatalities, One Person in Custody

The El Paso Police Department is responding to an active shooter situation near a mall in the city.

• Police have confirmed that at least 10 people have been killed and at least 30 have been injured.

• Police announced at a press conference that there was one person in custody and that they have "ruled out" reports of multiple shooters, but with the caveat that this assessment could change as the investigation continues.

• Reports of gunfire occurred at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall. Some media reports have indicated that other gunfire was heard at the mall itself, though the El Paso police have not confirmed it. The Cielo Visa Mall is within walking distance of the Walmart store.

• An El Paso Police Department spokesperson said that the shooter's motive could not be confirmed.

• Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said that the individual in custody is a 21-year-old male.

El Paso shooting
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. - Police said there may be more than one suspect involved in an active shooter situation Saturday in El Paso, Texas. City police said on Twitter they had received "multi reports of multipe shooters." There was no immediate word on casualties. Joel Angel JUAREZ/Getty

3:10 p.m.: Police confirm at least 10 people have been killed, and 30 have been confirmed as injured.

3:00 p.m.: An El Paso Police spokesman confirmed that multiple fatalities have occurred and that other people have been transported to local hospitals, though the extend of injuries are unknown.

Police also confirmed that one person has been taken into custody, though it was unclear if that person is the shooter. Police did not say if they are continuing to look for other suspects, but that authorities are still searching the Walmart as well as the surrounding area.

However, police said they believe there is no longer an imminent threat to the area.

Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ/Getty
The first indication of a problem occurred at approximately 11:03 a.m. local time when the El Paso Police Department tweeted that there were reports of an active shooter in the area.
Ray Holgin, a witness, told CBS News that he heard at least 10 gunshots before he entered a Walmart store in El Paso and he believed he saw at least two shooters. Other witnesses, who spoke to CBS4 in El Paso, told reporters that they heard gunshots inside the store around 10:30 a.m. and began running towards the exits.
Local authorities tweeted that multiple shooters are possible, though they have been unable to confirm the information as no shooter has been located yet.

Scene is still Active. We have multi reports of multiple shooters. Please avoid area police conducting search of a very large area. Media staging will be given when area is secure.

The shooting interrupted a town hall being held approximately 14 miles away with Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, who was informed during the event of the incident. Escobar then told the crowd about the shooting.

"We've been asked by law enforcement to just send everybody home. I'm so sorry we have to end this early. Thank you all for coming. Please be safe," Escobar told the crowd.

She later tweeted about the shooting, saying she is "heartbroken."

Utterly heartbroken by the developing news in El Paso. Monitoring the situation and in communication with our law enforcement. Please stay safe.

— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) August 3, 2019

Former Texas congressman and current 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke also tweeted, saying, "Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates."

Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019

O'Rourke is an El Paso native. At a later press conference, O'Rourke said that he would be immediately making his way back to his hometown from his current stop in Las Vegas, where the former congressman is currently on the campaign trail for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

"I just ask for everyone's strength for El Paso right now," he said, visibly shaken, at the press conference.

A Walmart employee who identified herself as Leslie told local station KPTV that she was inside the building as the shooting unfolded and witnessed mayhem as people scrambled to get out.

"[At first] I didn't expect anything," she said. "I thought it was just loud boxes being dropped or something. I looked at my coworker, and we looked at each other shocked and scared."

She said that people were falling over trying to dash to the exit, and "some of them got hurt" in the process.

"One of my associates, he was actually shot in the hand," she recalled.

2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wrote on Twitter that he grew up patronizing the Cielo Vista Mall.

My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it’s one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act? #ElPaso

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 3, 2019
The incident comes a week after three people were killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.