AT 11:03 local time, the El Paso Police Department tweeted that officers were responding to an active shooter situation. The massacre is said to have taken place inside the mall’s Walmart store.
Police confirmed “multiple fatalities,” but the exact number of victims remains unclear.
At least 22 people have been hospitalized and 9 people in critical but stable condition, according to CBS News. One patient is reportedly 4 months old.
The suspected shooter is in police custody and the scene is said to be no longer “active” but police cordoned off the area and have asked citizens to stay away. Earlier reports indicated “multiple shooters,” but police said they do not believe these reports to be true.
The suspect has been reportedly identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.
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
The shooter used an AK-style assault rifle and ear protection earphones, as seen on CCTV footage screenshot published online.
The mall and adjacent buildings have been evacuated, and Cielo Vista shops are on lockdown.
Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are working at the scene.
BREAKING: ATF is en route to assist @EPPOLICE at the scene of a reported shooting in the area of #CieloVistaMall in #ElPaso TX. Please stay away from the area and refrain from posting first responder activity on social media. https://t.co/uw3DEFZRJt pic.twitter.com/0KqUK5nmmI— ATF Dallas (@ATFDallas) August 3, 2019
According to OSI News, the white male shooter allegedly posted a manifesto, in which he declared that the shooting was motivated by his fear of increasingly large numbers in the Hispanic population due to illegal immigration.
In the purported document, the shooter supported the Christchurch shooting, which took place in March in New Zealand, and condemned Democrats and Republicans for failing to tackle the immigration problem, but claim that Democrats adhere to a particularly pro-immigration agenda, while Republicans remain “divided.”
The authenticity of the manifesto is unconfirmed.
The shooting has been condemned by US President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke, who was born and raised in El Paso.
Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2019