A “shocking” number of casualties has been reported in El Paso, Texas, following a shooting that occurred on the morning of August 3 in a Walmart close to the Cielo Visa Mall. El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar described the number of victims as “shocking.”
Officials said during a press conference 20 people were killed and 26 were injured. Two of the injured victims died Monday, bring the total to 22.
A 21-year-old suspect is in custody. He has been identified as Patrick Crusius of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Authorities have confirmed that earlier reports of multiple shooters and multiple shooting locations were not accurate. Investigators believe that there is no further threat to the area.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Manifesto Purporting to Be From the Shooter Has Been Circulating on 8Chan
Reporter Scott Stedman has tweeted that he had told the FBI that a manifesto which was purported to be from the suspect had been circulating on 8Chan. Stedman said that the FBI is treating the manifesto seriously. 8Chan is a controversial message board that has been described as “the home of the most vitriolic content on the internet” by Vox.
That manifesto, which has been seen by Heavy.com but not verified as belonging to the suspect, makes negative references to Hispanic immigration into the U.S., criticizes both major political parties in the U.S. but the writer stresses that he supports some in the Republican Party in terms of immigration policies, the writer also makes reference to alleged Christchurch mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant.
Heavy contacted El Paso Police and the FBI. El Paso Police confirmed there was only one person in custody. El Paso’s Mayor Dee Margo told the media that he was told that the shooting began in the parking lot of the mall. The suspect then entered the store.
2. There Had Been Inaccurate Reports of Shooters at Other Malls in the Area
There were additional reports of additional active shooters at nearby areas including a report of a shooter in the area of Target and a report of a shooter at Bassett Place. Police confirmed they had received reports of multiple active shooters, but at no time did officials say that the reports of multiple shooting scenes were legitimate. “Scene is still Active. We have multi reports of multiple shooters. Please avoid area police conducting search of a very large area. Media staging will be given when area is secure,” they wrote on Twitter.
3. A Reporter Said a Little Boy Told Him His Mother Had Been Killed
A local reporter, Rocco Aloe, reported a little boy told him his mom was killed.
“Reporting from outside the #Walmart in #ElPaso, our @Garrett_FoxNews on a conversation he had minutes ago with a young boy: “My mom is dead.” Boy reported seeing people lying dead on the ground,” he wrote on Twitter.
Reporter Mark Lambie had earlier reported there was a “huge medical response” to the mall area. He shared a video of multiple ambulances in the parking lot.
One person wrote on Twitter she was being discharged from a local hospital because they needed rooms. She said 26 injuries were confirmed. That information was not immediately confirmed.
4. A Local Political Event Was Shutdown Due to the Shooting
A VICE News reporter, Evan McMorris-Santoro, wrote on Twitter he was covering a town hall for Rep. Veronica Escobar in Texas. Police shut down the town hall out of caution for reports of the active shooter near the mall. “Escobar just told me reports of multiple victims at a shopping mall nearby. All local law enforcement called to scene,” he wrote.
One person shared a video from inside the mall as it was being evacuated for active shooter reports. The video shows police officers urging people to leave with their hands up. A crowd of people filed passed armed police officers.
“You all are OK. Come on out. You’re OK,” an officer said as they neared the exit.
Another person shared a video on Twitter that appeared to show multiple people lying dead in the Walmart parking lot. Two people appeared to lie dead near a truck near the front of Walmart, a shopping cart between their bodies. A man appeared to lie dead just outside Walmart.
5. President Trump Has Said of the Shooting, ‘Reports Are Very Bad, Many Killed’
President Donald Trump issued a brief statement through his press aide.
In a later statement, the president said on Twitter, “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!”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on the shooting.
“Today, the El Paso community was 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. 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. The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are assisting the El Paso Police Department as they conduct their investigation. We have deployed troopers, special agents, Texas Rangers, tactical teams, and aircraft to the scene in a support role. The state of Texas will do everything it can to ensure justice is delivered to the perpetrators of this heinous act,” the statement said.