Texas Congresswoman Calls For Action After El Paso 'Massacre': 'Enough is Enough... End This Epidemic'

Texas congresswoman Veronica Escobar on Saturday called for action after a mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday left 20 dead and 26 others injured.

During an appearance on CNN today, Escobar told host Wolf Blitzer that she heard about the El Paso mass shooting, which occurred at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall, while hosting a town hall in the city. A member of my staff "walked up and told me that law enforcement ask that we immediately end the town hall meeting, send everyone home and let folks know that there was an active shooter in the community," she said.

"This was a massacre," Escobar continued. "We're all just trying to piece together what is unfolding in our community. It is unfathomable."

"There are no words for the kind of pain this great community is experiencing, and it's unfortunately, an all too common pain across America," the lawmaker added.

When asked "what can be done to stop this," Escobar firmly declared that action has to be taken. "We have the solutions," she said. "They are right in front of us. What we need is the will to act as a country. And we have to at some point say that enough is enough. And we have to ask ourselves, how many more wake up calls does this country need?"

The congresswoman added: "I am imploring that those of us that have the capacity and the power to make change, that we work together to end this epidemic. This is needless. There are families in tears, weeping right now. And it did not have to be this way."

The El Paso Police Department on Saturday afternoon identified a shooter as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, according to several news outlets. At around 10 a.m. local time, authorities responded to an active shooter alert, El Paso Police Sgt. Robert Gomez said at a news conference, after a gunman reportedly walked inside a Walmart and opened fire, causing numerous fatalities.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove offered condolences to the victims' families and revealed that the company are currently working with law enforcement officials. "We're praying for the victims, the community and our associates, as well as the first responders who are on the scene," he said.

The shooting in Texas comes less than a week after another gunman opened fire on festival goers at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California last Sunday, killing three and injuring at least 15 others.

After both shootings, the hashtag #GunControlNow began trending on Twitter, with tens of thousands of Americans calling on lawmakers to enact stricter gun control laws.

El Paso shooter
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. Joel Angel Juarez/Getty