EL PASO, Tx. (Reuters) – A gunman armed with a rifle killed 20 individuals at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and wounded greater than two dozen earlier than being arrested, authorities stated, after the most recent U.S. mass capturing despatched panicked consumers fleeing.
Lots of these within the busy retailer have been shopping for back-to-school provides after they have been caught up within the rampage, which got here simply six days after a teenage gunman killed three individuals at a meals pageant in Northern California.
“On a day that might have been a traditional day for somebody to leisurely buy groceries, it changed into one of the lethal days within the historical past of Texas,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated at a information convention, asserting the dying toll.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated three Mexicans have been among the many lifeless. Six Mexicans have been wounded. It was the eighth worst mass capturing in trendy U.S. historical past, after the 1984 capturing in San Ysidro that killed 21 individuals.
The suspect was recognized as a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a Dallas-area metropolis some 650 miles (1,046 km) east of El Paso.
Requested throughout a CNN interview about stories of disturbing on-line posts made by the suspect, Texas Legal professional Normal Ken Paxton stated he wouldn’t be stunned in any means.
“I believe these can assist make clear why he did it,” Paxton stated. “They’re nonetheless interviewing him.”
El Paso police chief Greg Allen stated authorities had a manifesto from the suspect that signifies “there’s a potential nexus to a hate crime.” Officers declined to elaborate and stated the investigation was persevering with.
The suspect was taken into custody with out incident, in accordance with authorities. Video posted on social media appeared to indicate him being handcuffed by police and positioned in a squad automobile.
Citing a legislation enforcement supply, El Paso tv station KTSM revealed on its web site what it stated have been two photographs of the suspect taken by safety cameras as he entered the Walmart.
The pictures confirmed a younger white man carrying glasses, khaki trousers and a darkish T-shirt, and pointing an assault-style rifle. He seems to be carrying headphones or ear defenders.
Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm the authenticity of the photographs.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that the stories from El Paso have been “very unhealthy, many killed.”
College Medical Heart of El Paso obtained 13 sufferers, together with one who died, hospital spokesman Ryan Mielke advised CNN.
A number of the sufferers have been in surgical procedure whereas others have been in steady situation, he added.
Two of the sufferers who arrived on the hospital have been kids with non-life threatening accidents who have been transferred to El Paso Kids’s Hospital, he stated.
Native media stated there was such an awesome response to an enchantment by the police division for blood donations to assist the wounded that lengthy traces fashioned at medical facilities, a few of which needed to inform would-be donors to come back again on Sunday.
Some individuals handed out bottled water and slices of pizza to these nonetheless ready in line.
GRAPHIC: Mass shootings in the USA – tmsnrt.rs/2KefvTT
‘PEOPLE WERE PANICKING’
A number of legislation enforcement companies raced to the scene on the Walmart and close by Cielo Vista Mall, together with police, state troopers, Homeland Safety brokers and border patrol.
Buyers fled for his or her lives, together with Kianna Lengthy who was on the Walmart together with her husband after they heard gunfire.
“Folks have been panicking and operating,” Lengthy stated. “They have been operating near the ground, individuals have been dropping on the ground.”
She and her husband sprinted by way of a inventory room behind the shop earlier than sheltering with different clients in a metal container in a transport space.
Graphic video from the scene posted on social media confirmed what seemed to be lifeless our bodies and wounded victims. Tales of heroism additionally emerged.
Walmart stated in an announcement: “We’re in shock over the tragic occasions at Cielo Vista Mall… We’re praying for the victims, the neighborhood & our associates, in addition to the primary responders.”
Shops on the mall have been additionally locked down as cops cleared the procuring heart within the east of town, which lies on the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
Video posted on Twitter confirmed clients at one division retailer being evacuated with their palms up.
Mass shootings are frequent in the USA. On Sunday, a teenage gunman opened fireplace with an assault-style rifle on the gang at a meals pageant in Northern California, killing three individuals earlier than fatally capturing himself.
At a Democratic presidential candidate discussion board in Las Vegas a clearly emotional Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who’s from El Paso, broke the information to the viewers that he had simply heard concerning the lethal mass capturing in his dwelling metropolis.
O’Rourke stated he had spoken to his spouse Amy, who was driving within the metropolis with one in every of their kids. Addressing reporters, he teared up and struggled to ship a brief assertion.
“I’m extremely saddened and it’s very laborious to consider this,” he stated. “El Paso is the strongest place on the planet. This neighborhood goes to come back collectively. I’m going again there proper now to be with my household, to be with my dwelling city.”
Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez in El Paso; Further reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Tim Reid in Las Vegas; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Modifying by Cynthia Osterman and Susan Thomas