20 Killed, 26 Injured in Texas Mass Shooting, Officials Say
By The Associated Press
August 3, 2019 Updated: August 3, 2019
EL PASO, Texas—Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen injured in a shooting Saturday in a busy shopping area in the Texas border town of El Paso, the state’s governor said.
Meanwhile, the police chief said among the possibilities being investigated is whether it was a hate crime. Two law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity identified the suspect taken into custody as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of the Dallas area.
Police said another 26 people were injured, most of them being treated at area hospitals. Most of the victims were believed to have been shot at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall, they said, adding that the store was packed with as many as 3,000 people during the busy back-to-school shopping season.
“The scene was a horrific one,” said El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen, who added that many of the injured had life-threatening injuries. He said police also had found a manifesto that may have been written by Crusius and posted online—one reason it was being investigated as a hate crime.
Residents were volunteering to give blood to the injured, while police and military members were trying to help people who were looking for missing loved ones.
“It’s chaos right now,” said Austin Johnson, an Army medic at nearby Fort Bliss, who volunteered to help at the shopping center and later at the school that was serving as a reunification center.
Adriana Quezada, 39, said she was in the women’s clothing section of Walmart with her two children when the shooting happened.
“I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction,” she said.
Her 19-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son threw themselves to the ground, then ran out of the Walmart through an emergency exit. They were not hurt, Quezada said.
She said she saw four men, dressed in black, moving together firing guns indiscriminately. Police later said they think there was just one shooter.
Police said by midafternoon that a suspect was in custody and the public was no longer in danger. Gomez said the suspect, who used a rifle, was arrested without incident. Police believe he was the “sole shooter” but are continuing to investigate reports that others were involved.