Several people were killed and one person was in custody Saturday after a mass shooting occurred in a shopping complex in the border town of El Paso, Texas, police said.
Police began receiving calls around 11 a.m. local time with multiple reports of a shooting at a Walmart and the nearby Cielo Vista Mall complex on the east side of the city.
Police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said a suspect was in custody. Local media said the suspect was a 21-year-old male.
A law enforcement official in El Paso told me the Walmart shooter is in custody. Patrick Crusius of Dallas. Just turned 21 years old this week. pic.twitter.com/CEJh6rYij1
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) August 3, 2019
— Jeff DeRiso (@JeffDeRiso) August 3, 2019
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said three suspects had been taken into custody, according to the El Paso Times. Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez, however, told the newspaper that police thought there was only one shooter and that the man was in custody.
“This is just a tragedy that I’m having a hard time getting my arms around,” Margo told CNN.
Gomez said a rifle was used in the shooting, according to the Times.
State Representative Cesar Blanco, who represents the El Paso area in the state Legislature, told MSNBC that 18 people had been shot.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox News, “We have between 15 and 20 casualties. We don’t know the number of fatalities,” according to a report from the French news agency AFP.
During the early moments of the incident, police warned people to stay away from the area.
A White House spokesperson said President Donald Trump, who was spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf club, had been briefed on the shooting, “and we continue to monitor the situation. The president has spoken with Attorney General [William] Barr and [Texas] Governor Greg Abbott.”
Abbott released a statement saying, “Today, the El Paso community was struck by a heinous and senseless act of violence. Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss.”
Abbott’s office said he was heading to El Paso.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who formerly represented the El Paso district in the U.S. House, said he was leaving an event in Las Vegas to return to the city where his family lives.
El Paso, a city of about 680,000 people in western Texas, shares the border with Juarez, Mexico.
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