20 dead, 26 injured in mass shooting at El Paso Walmart
EL PASO, Texas – The Latest on a mass shooting at an El Paso shopping complex (all times local):
(AP) UPDATE 7 p.m.:
The grandparents of the 21-year-old man suspected of killing 20 people at an El Paso Walmart say they are “devastated” and are praying for the victims.
KDFW reports a family friend read a statement from Larry and Cynthia Brown, grandparents of Patrick Crusius, on Sunday outside the couple’s Allen, Texas, home.
The Browns say Crusius lived at their home while he attended Collin College in nearby McKinney. They say that while his driver’s license shows the Allen residence, Crusius moved out of the home six weeks ago.
KDFW also reports officers from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been at the Browns’ home since the shooting.
Allen is more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s rampage occurred. More than two dozen people were also injured.
The FBI says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso.
(AP) UPDATE 5:40 p.m.:
An FBI official in El Paso, Texas, says there’s no credible intelligence that the suspected gunman in a mass shooting was working with a group planning other attacks.
FBI Special Agent Jeanette Harper said Sunday at a news conference that federal investigators were focusing their interviews related to the shooter around Dallas and San Antonio. Harper also made a plea for anyone with pictures or video from the shooting scene or the Dallas area to upload them to the FBI’s website.
The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius, was from a Dallas suburb more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s shooting unfolded at a Walmart. Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured.
Harper says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso.
(AP) UPDATE 5:10 p.m.:
Police in El Paso, Texas, say all bodies have been removed from a Walmart store and parking lot more than a day after a mass shooting killed 20 people.
El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez said Sunday the shooting was confined to the Walmart and its parking lot, and that the attack did not spread to other nearby shopping areas. More than two dozen people were also injured in Saturday’s shooting.
Gomez says the majority of victims were inside the store. Authorities have not yet released victims’ names or ages.
The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius, has been booked on capital murder charges.
A Justice Department official says the federal government is treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.
(AP) UPDATE 4:30 p.m.:
Mexico’s foreign minister says the country plans to take legal action against whoever sold the gun to the man suspected of killing at least 20 people and wounding more than two dozen others in El Paso, Texas.
Marcelo Ebrard said Sunday that “it’s urgent that we take corresponding actions against weapons.” Ebrard has frequently cited the flood of illegal weapons from the U.S. to Mexico as a factor in Mexico’s rising rate of violent crime.
Gun ownership is highly restricted in Mexico, requiring special permits, and gun shops are rare. The average Mexican has trouble legally acquiring a handgun, much less an assault weapon.
Ebrard also called Saturday’s shooting “a terrorist act” against Mexicans and urged the U.S. government to “set a clear position against hate crimes.”
(AP) UPDATE 4:10 p.m.:
The city of El Paso, Texas, has issued a local disaster declaration following a shooting that left at least 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
The declaration by Mayor Dee Margo allows for state financial assistance and activates the city’s emergency management plan.
Margo issued the declaration on Sunday, one day after a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping area.
Margo says the El Paso community is resilient and will not be defined by the rampage.
(AP) UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the federal agency does not conduct immigration enforcement operations “during tragedies” such as the shooting in El Paso, Texas.
ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa says the statement was issued Sunday afternoon in an effort to dispel “false rumors.”
Zamarripa says ICE agents immediately responded to aid local and state law enforcement officers as the shooting unfolded.
Saturday’s shooting at an El Paso shopping area left 20 people dead and more than two dozen injured.
(AP) UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: FBI agents have executed search warrants at three homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where suspected El Paso gunman Patrick Wood Crusius had stayed.
An agency spokeswoman, Melinda Urbina, declined to give more details on the locations.
One of them was the home of his grandparents in Allen, Texas, where authorities shut down streets following the shooting.
Allen, located 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Dallas, is an affluent community of about 100,000.
The shooting Saturday at an El Paso shopping area left 20 people dead and more than two dozen injured. Crusius has been booked on capital murder charges in connection with the attack. Authorities say they are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime and could seek the death penalty.
(AP) UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: The president of a leading Hispanic group says politicians such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump must stop making anti-immigrant statements that he blamed for “costing the lives of innocent people.”
Speaking in downtown El Paso on Sunday, League of United Latin American Citizens president Domingo Garcia said that “unfortunately what we saw here was another massacre by again somebody using racial hatred as a basis to kill people of Mexican American descent, and we need to stand up and fight against it.”
A shooting at a shopping area in El Paso Saturday left 20 people dead. Authorities increasingly believe that an anti-immigrant screed posted before the attack was written by 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius. He was arrested and booked on capital murder charges in connection with the shooting. Prosecutors say they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.
(AP) UPDATE 11 a.m.: A man and woman injured when a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, shopping area were there to raise money for a youth sports team one of their children played on.
Norma Coca tells Wichita, Kansas-television station KWCH that her daughter and son-in-law were near the front doors of the Walmart on Saturday morning when they were shot.
Coca, who lives in Salina, Kansas, said her daughter, Jessica Coca Garcia, was shot three times in the leg. She says her son-in-law, Memo Garcia, was shot twice in the leg and once in the back. She said Saturday that her daughter was in stable condition and her son-in-law was in critical condition.
Jessica Coca Garcia’s father, Don Coca, said they have family in the El Paso area who were able to be with the couple. Don Coca says: “She was just crying ... I told her that our prayers are there and we’re on our way.”
The couple’s 5-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were also at the Walmart. They were not shot.
(AP) UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: The El Paso County District Attorney's Office says the state of Texas will seek the death penalty for man suspected of killing 20 in El Paso shooting.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says the mass shooting is being treated as a "domestic terrorism" case.
(AP) UPDATE 9 a.m.: Jail records show the gunman arrested in the El Paso shooting that left 20 people dead has been booked on capital murder charges.
El Paso County records Sunday showed that 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius was booked at the downtown jail in the Texas border city. There was no immediate indication that he had an attorney.
Police say more than two dozen people were also injured in the attack Saturday at an El Paso shopping area.
Authorities are investigating the possibility the shooting was a hate crime. They're working to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by Crusius.
UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: Del Sol Hospital officials said they received 11 shooting victims Sunday morning. Eight are in stable condition, but three are still critical condition
At least seven of those patients had surgery on Saturday, officials said. In the days to come, many of them will have to go back into the operating room.
Officials said many of the staff members came in on their day off to care for the influx of patients.
The hospital had recently practiced an active shooter response mock drill, so there was some preparation in case of a mass shooting, according to hospital officials.
Del Sol officials said it has been difficult to identify all the patients coming in, as some of them had no identification and were unconscious. Staff members are working with families to identify all the patients.
The hospital staff did not give many details about the specific kind of injuries victims are facing.
At least one of the patients may be discharged Sunday.
Authorities in El Paso confirmed Saturday that 20 people were killed and 26 were injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart.
Police arrested the suspected gunman, who CNN identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas that is about a 10-hour drive from El Paso.
El Paso police chief Greg Allen said they're investigating whether the shooting was a hate crime after officials discovered an online manifesto apparently written by the shooter.
Police believe he drove more than 600 miles to commit the crime and used an AK-47, a semi-automatic rifle. He was taken into custody "without incident," police said.
Victims, who are yet to be identified, ranged in age from young children to 82.
Police said they received 911 calls around 10 a.m. local time about an active shooter at a Walmart at near a major shopping area at Gateway and Hawkins boulevards.
Officers responded to the store, which had between 1,000 and 3,000 customers at the time of the shooting, within six mintues, an official said.
Local TV station KTSM shared a photo of the person they said is the gunman and CNN identified him as Crusius, but authorities have not publicly named the man.
El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez Gomez said the crime scene spanned a large area, and that the Cielo Vista Mall and other nearby businesses were placed on lockdown due to the shooting.
A witness told CNN that a child warned shoppers of the mass shooter.
"A little kid ran in there and was telling us is the active shooter in Walmart, but we didn't pay no attention because, one, it was this little kid, and two, you're at the mall and at Walmart that we didn't pay it no mind, so I walked to Foot Locker and I could hear two gunshots," the witness said. "And a whole bunch of people started running around screaming."
Another witness told KTSM that he heard the gunfire and spoke with someone who saw the carnage.
"I talked to another guy that said he saw somebody shot in the head, and another lady shot in the head and her head was blown away," the witness said.
El Paso police asked people in the area to donate blood for survivors. "Blood needed urgently," the department tweeted. So many people responded to help out their neighbors that hospital officials said they were at capacity and rescheduling appointments for Sunday and Monday.
Local and national politicians responded to the shooting as news spread around the world. President Donald Trump took to Twitter hours after authorities gave an official statement about the shooting, writing that he had spoken with Gov. Greg Abbott about the incident. The president said "many" had been killed.
"Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement," Trump said. "Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!"
Abbott said officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety were assisting federal and local law enforcement in their response to the shooting.
“While no words can provide the solace needed for those impacted by this event, I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in offering our prayers for the victims and their families," Abbott said in a statment.
Former El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke tweeted about the shooting Saturday, writing that the shooting was heartbreaking and that people should heed the directions of first responders.
Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates. https://t.co/BU0AH6Y8Rv— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor, called for gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting.
"My heart is with the people of El Paso today as they cope with a devastating mass shooting—the scope of which we are still learning," Castro wrote on Twitter. "This attack is a tragic reminder of our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives. We need gun reform now."
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar released the following statement:
"El Paso weighs heavily on our hearts and minds. Dozens of families are mourning and affected. We know first responders and medical staff are working hard to save lives, provide comfort, and process the scene. Here in Bexar County, we are always working hard to make sure our deputies and the public are prepared for a horrible event such as this. We are here for our residents, and we are here for our family in El Paso."
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, released the following statement to KSAT:
"I, and Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette, offer our prayers on behalf of the Archdiocese of San Antonio to the families of those killed and the victims who were wounded at the mass shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso this afternoon. News reports from mid-afternoon Saturday state that perhaps 20 people are dead and even more individuals suffered gunshot wounds and were being treated at hospitals. Bishop Mark Seitz and the Diocese of El Paso are responding in faith to this terrible tragedy and are holding a prayer vigil this evening, and we express our gratitude to law enforcement and other emergency personnel who were first on the scene of this heinous crime, and whose actions undoubtedly saved additional lives. This senseless violence, against innocent weekend shoppers, again horrifies our consciences, as there seems to be no end to the bloodshed overwhelming us. We call on the Lord and the Holy Spirit to help us restore and rebuild respect for life in our nation; to end this unspeakable carnage which keeps repeating itself in a heartbreaking manner."
Salazar also pointed Bexar County residents to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center for anyone willing to donate blood. He said both locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Below are the locations to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center:
South Texas Blood & Tissue Center - Donor Pavilion is located at 6211 I-10 West.
South Texas Blood & Tissue Center - North East Donor Room is located at 8500 Village Drive Suite #102.
The San Antonio community will be holding a vigil for the victims of the shooting starting at 8 p.m. Sunday in front of the San Fernando Cathedral at Main Plaza.
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Copyright 2019 by KSAT. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.