Twenty people were killed, 26 others others were injured, and one suspect was arrested after a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas officials said Saturday.
“Texas grieves for the people of El Paso today. On a day that would’ve been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “Lives were taken who should still be with us today.”
El Paso Police Chief Chief Greg Allan told reporters at a press conference that the suspect was a 21-year-old white man who surrendered to officers who approached him.
Allen said the shooting appeared to have a “nexus to a hate crime” and confirmed reports that authorities were investigating a manifesto written by the suspect.
He added that authorities are preparing to pursue capital murder charges against the suspect.
Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez said the suspect was arrested “without incident,” and that no law-enforcement officers fired their weapons.
He added that police believe there is no longer any threat to the public, or that there are any other shooters.
“This is unprecedented in El Paso,” Gomez said.
Gomez said the shooting occurred while the Walmart was “at capacity” with customers shopping for back-to-school supplies. He said up to 3,000 people were in the store and 100 employees were present.
KTSM posted a video of customers inside JCPenney at Cielo Vista Mall being prepared for evacuation.
Though the El Paso Police Department had received early reports of multiple shooters, Gomez clarified Saturday afternoon that just one suspect was in custody.
Walmart tweeted a statement condemning the attacks in their Cielo Vista stores.
“We’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located,” the retailer said. “We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.”
Photojournalist Mark Lambie tweeted a video of the massive emergency authority presence that responded to the Walmart.
The area indicated in the department’s tweets appear to include a popular shopping complex, with a Walmart Supercenter.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke tweeted to urge his native El Paso to “stay safe.”
“Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon that his administration was working with authorities on the incident.
“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!” he wrote.