Texas teen caught up in scenes of El Paso, West Texas shootings

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

Saturday's deadly mass shooting in West Texas marked the second such incident in Texas in under a month.

On Aug. 3, a gunman opened fire on unsuspecting shoppers at an El Paso Walmart. On Aug. 31, another man went on a shooting rampage nearly 300 miles away in Midland and Odessa.

For both shootings, Juan Martinez, 18, was in the respective cities as the carnage unfolded, the Washington Post reported. Martinez told the Washington Post that he was attending the Texas Young Democrats' retreat in Midland when he got word an active shooter situation was brewing a short distance away.

RELATED: 7 killed in mass shooting spanning Midland, Odessa 

It was an all too familiar experience, as he'd taken shelter at an El Paso church just weeks earlier when gunfire claimed the lives of 22 people at a Walmart in his city, the Post reported.

"It really felt like another El Paso," he told the Post. "And I can tell you as an El Pasoan, it doesn't just affect you in the day or in the week. It continues, and you think about it, and you think about it, and you think about it."

The Texas Young Democrats released a statement shortly after the shooting in the host city of its retreat, writing in part: "The gun violence situation in this country has reached a new low point (and) is utterly absurd. Now twice in the exact same month, the state of Texas has been hurt and scarred by a mass shooting."

The group called on Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special legislative session to address gun violence.

RELATED: 8 new Texas laws that loosen gun restrictions, starting Sept. 1 

"No, not a special session where the fringe right grandstands on atrocious principles and passes horrific legislation that a dozen Texans support," the statement read. "We are calling for a special session where all legislators agree that there are countless steps that can be taken to meaningfully reduce gun violence backed by millions of Texans."

The group also called it "disgustingly ironic" that the shootings took place on the eve of the day looser gun restrictions took effect in Texas.

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