Special forces stormed an El Paso, Texas, Walmart amid reports of an active shooter at a shopping center. Currently, 18 people have been reported shot, according to WSB-TV, and one suspect is said to be in custody.
Video, posted on Twitter, showed the SWAT team entering the Cielo Vista shopping center. They appeared in full gear, running toward the Walmart store. Helicopters were seen circling overhead.
El Paso shooting:— Emil Nivantha Perera (@emilnivantha) August 3, 2019
Special Forces Entering Cielo Vista in El Paso Walmart Shooting pic.twitter.com/c4ceOS2gjK
The El Paso Police Department confirmed "reports of multiple shooters, initially, later revealing that there was one suspect in custody. They said they were looking for more potential shooters at the time, according to CBS News.
Police urged people to stay away from the Walmart at the Cielo Vista Mall while they dealt with the tragic situation unfolding. Both the FBI and ATF were called in. CBS News reported that at least 22 people were hospitalized, nine were in critical but stable condition. The outlet reported that the youngest patient treated was 4 months old. The majority of patients, however, ranged in age from 35 to 82.
As of this writing, police said they did not believe there was still any imminent threat to the area. Still, they asked that people avoid the area. Photos and news coverage on the scene showed armored truck dropping off men in tactical gear. They appeared to be canvassing the area for more suspects.
A single law enforcement source told CBS News that their initial information pointed to their being two male shooters, both armed with an AK 47-style weapon.
Witness Ray Holgin told CBS News he believed he saw two people with guns. He recalled hearing "at least 10 gunshots." Other witnesses shared their own accounts of the shooting on social media.
One such witness recalled hearing "15+ gunshots" fired, adding: "I swear I saw an older lady drop to the floor. Check on your family." A number of videos were also posted on platforms like Twitter. Many were disturbing and graphic.
Donald Trump responded to the shooting some time after it unfolded. He called the shooting "Terrible," noting that the reports suggested it was "very bad."
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2019
Other politicians and public figures also shared their thoughts.
"At this point, I've run out of condolences for every city, for every place. Sorry isn't enough. My heart isn't enough," March For Our Lives co-founder Delaney Tarr. "All I can give is my promise to fight. To fight for El Paso, to fight for Americans. To fight for peace."
The shooting has reignited the debate about gun violence and gun laws.