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Multiple People Killed in Mass Shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas

"The situation, needless to say, is a horrific," said El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.

Aug 3 2019, 8:10pm

UPDATED Saturday Aug. 3, 7:23 p.m.

A mass shooter walked into a crowded Walmart in El Paso Saturday morning and killed at least 20 people and wounded 26 others in one of the most deadly acts of violence in recent Texas history.

Video captured the suspect, identified as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, as he walked into the Walmart shortly after 10 a.m. with a rifle. Video captured by shoppers hiding from the shooter recorded methodic shots from the rifle; another showed people dragging victims into the Walmart parking lot.

"Texas grieves for the people of El Paso today," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a press conference Saturday evening. "On a day that would have been a normal day for someone to go leisurely shopping, turned into one of the most deadly days in Texas history."

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the victims represented all ages. "The situation, needless to say, is a horrific," he said, in a press conference. "Unfortunately the deceased will remain at the scene until it is processed for evidentiary purposes."

Allen said the first police responded to the first 911 call in six minutes, and yet in that time the shooter was able to wreak havoc, killing and wounding dozens, before he was confronted by police.

Because of the severity of their wounds, the confirmed death toll is likely to go higher in the coming hours. "That number keeps changing. I hate to pin down a certain number, but I think it was definitely a large number," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNN.

Local station KTSM obtained an image of video footage that showed the suspected shooter entering the Walmart holding a rifle.

The alleged shooter had driven 10 hours to El Paso from his home in Allen, Texas before he started shooting. He was arrested without incident and is now being interviewed by police.

Facebook removed a profile under the suspect's name that contained a manifesto, and possibly, a motive.

"Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree that he has a nexus to a potential hate crime," Allen said.

The shootings occurred in the Cielo Vista Mall, the largest mall in El Paso, as it was bustling with morning back-to-school shoppers.

"It is back to school and the Walmart was at capacity when the shooting occurred," Gomez said.

Witnesses hiding inside the Walmart started posting videos of the scene, including repeated loud cracks of a rifle.

"This is the center of El Paso. It's a place where families come and enjoy their weekends," Texas State Rep. Cesar Blanco told CNN.

"This is an open place, there aren't any metal detectors," he said. "You do see a police presence every now and then. But it's like any mall in America. And now this community will be changed forever."

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Photo: Evan McMorris-Santoro/VICE News

The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the situation.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who was holding a town hall meeting nearby, said she is "utterly heartbroken" by the news.

"People were running their errands, going to the grocery store, shopping for school supplies," she told CNN. "These are warm, kind-hearted people and this was a massacre."

El Paso police are asking locals to give blood at two donation centers to help the wounded being treated at area hospitals.

The shooting is one of the most deadly in recent Texas history. In 2018, a mass shooter killed 10 students at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Texas. In 2017, a shooter with an assault rifle killed 27 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Cover: El Paso Police tactical unit on the scene. (Photo: Evan McMorris Santoro/VICE News)