EL PASO, Texas — Authorities in El Paso, Texas, said one person was killed and three other people were injured Wednesday after a shooting in a shopping mall.
El Paso Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Robert Gomez said one suspect was in custody and police believe another individual could be connected to the incident. Gomez confirmed that one person died in the shooting and three others were injured.
“We have one person in custody,” Gomez said at a news conference. One more person might be involved as well but has not been detained, he added. No description of the outstanding suspect was available.
“We don’t have any active shooters at this time,” Gomez said. “All we know right now that it’s isolated to Cielo Vista Mall.”
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Police rushed to mall as customers ran out
Cellphone videos posted on social media showed customers running out of the mall into the parking lot as police rushed to the scene.
Gomez said the first calls came in at 5:10 p.m. about shots fired, and multiple law enforcement units responded.
El Paso police, including the SWAT team, and units from other agencies responded to help clear and secure the mall he added.
He said the shooting suspect was taken into custody soon after the attack but did not know the suspect’s gender or age. A large police presence remained at the mall Wednesday night. The public was asked by police officials to stay away from the area.
“Right now, the units are clearing the mall, they are gathering the witnesses,” Gomez said.
“This is a live scene” and will take time, he added.
Injured victims taken to area hospitals
The three wounded were transported to area hospitals, Gomez said.
“We have two patients, both in critical condition,” said University Medical Center of El Paso spokesman Ryan Mielke. According to Mielke, the two patients are males in critical condition.
The other victim was taken to Del Sol Medical Center and was in fair condition, a hospital official said.
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Mall near deadly 2019 Walmart shooting
Cielo Vista Mall is next to the Walmart store where a gunman killed 23 people on Aug. 3, 2019. The Walmart shooter pleaded guilty last week to federal hate crime charges in the mass shooting targeting Latinos.
Olivia Troye, a former Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, said on Twitter that her aunt was “in hiding at Cielo Vista mall” as the active shooter scenario was unfolding.
“She survived the 2019 Wal-Mart El Paso shooting thanks to someone who pulled her to safety. What is it going to take to enact change?!” Troye wrote in a post just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The United States has seen dozens of people killed in mass shootings so far in 2023, most recently Monday at Michigan State University, where three students were killed and five more were wounded. In January, 11 people were killed in the Los Angeles-area city of Monterey Park as they welcomed the Lunar New Year at a dance hall popular with older Asian Americans.
In 2022, more than 600 mass shootings occurred in the U.S. in which at least four people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Contributing: Maria Cortes Gonzalez, Lauren Villagran, and Adam Powell, El Paso Times; The Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com