In the latest mass shooting in the United States, it has been confirmed that upwards of 20 persons are dead at the hands of what appears to be a lone gunman at an El Paso, Texas shopping complex earlier this morning.
Reports are that the incident took place near the Cielo Vista Mall and that a 21-year-old male suspect is in custody. It is believed that at least four children are among the dead.
Details are that the shooting began around 10 a.m. local time outside a Walmart in the complex. One eyewitness told local media that the man was wearing dark cargo pants, a black T-shirt, and some sort of earmuffs. He was around 5-foot-10-inches tall, thin and carrying a rifle. He observed that he was shooting randomly and he then walked into Walmart.
Inside the Walmart, shoppers and employees raced to exit the store or even hide in shelves. Witnesses said Good Samaritans used their own cars to transport victims to hospitals.
Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Center of El Paso, told Fox News that 13 patients — 1 of whom died at the hospital — were being treated at the facility’s Level 1 trauma center. Mielke told the Associated Press that says two children, ages 2 and 9, were stabilized at the medical center before being transferred to the neighboring El Paso Children’s Hospital.
Del Sol Medical Center told Fox News it has received 11 patients, 9 of whom were critical but stable condition and 2 who were in stable condition. The patients’ ages ranged from 35 to 82, the hospital said. El Paso police tweeted that blood donations were “needed urgently” to aid the injured.
El Paso, which has about 680,000 residents, is in West Texas sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.