According to police, a shooting occurred Wednesday night inside the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, leaving one person dead and three others injured.
At a news conference on Wednesday night, interim El Paso Police Chief Peter Pacillas stated that two men in custody are no longer a threat to the public.
“It was disorderly. People did run away. They were terrified, according to police Sgt. Robert Gomez.
According to the hospital, two injured men were taken to the University Medical Center of El Paso in critical condition. Unknown is the state of the third victim, a male who Gomez claimed was also hospitalized.
The Walmart, where 23 people were killed and almost two dozen more were injured in a shooting in 2019, is just next to the mall. As part of a plea agreement, the 24-year-old gunman admitted guilt to 90 federal offenses last week.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 70 mass shootings in the United States thus far this year. According to both CNN and the archive, a “mass shooting” leaves at least four people injured or dead, not counting the shooter.
After the incident on Wednesday at around 5 p.m. local time, a mall security guard working off-duty quickly responded to the scene and arrested a suspect, according to Pacillas. He was silent when, where, or how the second person was apprehended.
After many people contacted 911 to report an active shooter, several law enforcement organizations, including El Paso police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the US Border Patrol, arrived on the site, according to authorities.
Here is a video about 1 killed, and 3 injured in a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas:
After securing the area, officials worked through the night to evacuate the building and launch a preliminary investigation, according to police.
According to preliminary findings, Gomez claimed that the mall’s food court may have been the scene of the shooting. The FBI has established a website where anyone may upload images and video of the incident to aid the investigation.
When the incident on Wednesday occurred, Brandon Chavez, 29, claimed he was working in the Buckle apparel store across from the food court. He told CNN that while individuals waited to be able to go, he escorted them inside the stock room and assisted customers and other employees in barricading inside the business.
When the 2019 shooting occurred in the nearby Walmart, Chavez was also working at the mall; he claimed that he and other workers sought refuge there.
Robert Gonzalez also went to the mall on Wednesday and saw the shooting in 2019. According to him, he “saw people running to the exit” on Wednesday. Videos he recorded of the mall display several businesses shuttered with their security gates down and several law enforcement vehicles nearby.
The last time this occurred, with the Walmart shooting, I was working (at the mall), so it just brought back awful memories, he added.
Gonzalez told CNN that he managed to make it safely to his car, where he was waiting for departure.
At the adjacent Burges High School, a reunification center has been established where those who are unable to contact their loved ones may go for information, according to Gomez.
There will be updates to this story as it develops.