El Paso shooting: ‘Multiple fatalities’ in Texas mall attack

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Media captionPolice were filmed responding to the mall shooting

A shooting at a Texas shopping mall has ended in “multiple fatalities”, local officials say.

The shooting happened at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, just a few miles from the US-Mexico border.

At least 22 people arrived at local hospitals for treatment for their injuries.

One person is in custody, and police did not believe there were multiple gunmen, a spokesperson said, but was unable to provide casualty figures.

“We don’t want to do anything prematurely until we have accurate facts for you,” Sergeant Robert Gomez said, declining to provide details on the injured.

First reports of a shooting emerged at around 11:00 local time (18:00 GMT).

There were reports of gunfire in several locations – in both the Cielo Vista mall and the nearby Walmart, police said – but reports of further gunshots at another nearby mall, Bassett, were not true.

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Kianna Long, right, was in the freezer section of the Walmart during the shooting

“Initial reports of the weapon was a rifle – I can’t confirm that yet,” the spokesman said.

He could not confirm any details about the suspect, except that he was male. No officers had fired their weapons in apprehending him, he said.

Police said they no longer believed there was any immediate threat to the public, but were continuing searches. A family reunification area had been set up nearby for those searching for loved ones.

What reaction has there been?

“This is a tragedy that we never, ever would have thought would happen in El Paso,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told CNN. “It tears me up.”

US President Donald Trump said the reports coming from the area were “very bad, many killed”.

In a statement, Texas governor Greg Abbott said El Paso had been “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,” the governor said.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has abandoned a campaign event in Las Vegas to return to his hometown of El Paso.

Earlier, he spoke at a labour forum, telling the crowd the shooting shatters any illusion gun reform will “come of its own accord” in the US.

“We know that there’s a lot of injury, a lot of suffering in El Paso right now,” he said.

Other Democratic presidential candidates also responded to the shooting with calls for gun control.

New Jersey senator Cory Booker was among them, saying America seems to be “accepting the idea that these [shootings] are going to be a regular occurrence”.

Walmart, which has a store on the site of the Cielo Vista Mall, said it was “in shock over the tragic events” and was “working closely with law enforcement”.


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