Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at El Paso shopping mall. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said 26 others were injured.
El Paso police said earlier that the gunman was arrested without incident after the massacre at Walmart on the eastern side of the city. CNN reported that three sources identified the suspect as 21-year-old Patrick Crossius from Allen, Texas. This is more than 650 miles from El Paso
CNN says a source indicated that the FBI had launched an investigation into domestic terrorism, based on an anti-immigration statement the suspect may have posted online prior to the attack. FBI Chief Allen said the FBI would investigate whether the massacre was a hate crime. He did not confirm the identity of the suspect, but did confirm his age and residence in Allen, Texas.
Two federal law enforcement sources and one government source confirmed the suspect’s identity.
Chief Allen said the suspect was arrested outside the Walmart store, near the place of the initial shooting. It is close to Cielo Vista mall.
He said that investigators are aware of a statement that has been posted online, and are working to determine if the suspect wrote it. Allen says he was unable to confirm that the rifle in use was an AK-47, as some social media posts have indicated. CNN reported that three Mexicans were killed and six Mexicans injured, according to Mexican government leaders.
“We are reviewing all of the evidence we have gathered so far, and we’re pursuing more potential clients,” said Special Agent in charge of the FBI, Emerson Blue, Jr.
Medical Center spokesman Ryan Milky said 13 people were taken to the University Medical Center in El Paso, where one of them later died.
Milky told a newspaper that some people had died after being transferred to the University Medical Center, but he did not mention a specific number of deaths.
CNN reported that 11 other people were transferred to Del Sol Medical Center, according to spokesperson Victor Guerrero. Dr Stephen Flaherty said the patients ranged in age from 35 to 82.
Flaherty said at least two patients at Del Sol Hospital are in “a life-threatening dilemma”.
Flaherty said nine patients were in critical condition. Two other patients are in stable condition. Seven patients required emergency operations and Flaherty said most of them will likely need more procedures in the coming days.
Governor Abbott asked Americans to “keep the Elbaswan in your prayers.” He noted how people lined up to donate blood to victims during the crisis.
At least two of the injured were children, El Paso Police Sergeant Robert Gomez said at an impromptu news conference. The mall complex was crowded with shoppers returning to the school at the time.
The first shootout was at Walmart, and the second was near the nearby Selo Vista mall. El Paso Police initially sent reports on several shooters, but later said this was incorrect. None of the police officers fired shots.
There was no early news about the motive behind the shooting.
“The only information I got from the initial reports was that it was a rifle (that was used),” the sergeant said. Gomez. Model and model not yet available.
The mall remained closed for hours after the shooting spree, but the situation was no longer “active”, and there was no threat or danger. Sgt Gomez said, “We have one person under arrest … we think he’s the only shooter, but that might change … we’ve cleared the mall area, and we’ve secured Walmart … The reports are most of the casualties from Walmart, but I’m not.” I can confirm that 100 percent now. “
Sgt Gomez said Walmart was holding up to 3,000 people at the time of the shooting, and many people were taken to two hospitals. American
The El Paso Police Department issued a warning that blood is urgently needed in area hospitals to treat the wounded.
Police said on one occasion that they had received reports of several shootings at the scene near the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. They added that the scene was still active and urged people to avoid the area