President Donald Trump on Saturday, Aug. 3, quickly responded after a shooting rampage at a shopping mall in the Texas border town of El Paso.
“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!” the president wrote 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2019
Earlier in the day, El Paso police announced that multiple people were killed and injured and at least one person was in custody after a shooting rampage at a shopping mall.
El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told reporters that there were more than 20 casualties, a term that can refer to people killed or wounded.
Some hours later, President Trump continued to condemn the shooting, saying it’s hateful act.
“Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act,” the president tweeted. “There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people. Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”
….Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2019
Police reacted in the early afternoon to an active shooter scene at the Cielo Vista Mall, which is near Interstate 10 on the east side of the city, and they were advising people to stay away from the area.
“This is just a tragedy that I’m having a hard time getting my arms around,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told CNN.
A University Medical Center of El Paso official says one of 12 people who were rushed to the hospital after the attack on a shopping complex has died.
Ryan Mielke (MIL’-kee), a hospital spokesman, says all of the victims suffered traumatic injuries in Saturday’s attack at or near the Cielo Vista Mall. He declined to provide additional details about the victims, including the one who died.
Mielke says two children, ages 2 and 9, were stabilized at the medical center before being transferred to the neighboring El Paso Children’s Hospital.
El Paso, which has about 680,000 residents, is in West Texas and sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.
White House staff said President Trump was briefed on the shooting and spoke about it with Attorney General Barr and Gov. Greg Abbott.
Abbott called the shooting “a heinous and senseless act of violence” and said the state had deployed a number of law enforcement officers to the city.
A family of three was one of a dozen waiting outside a local bus station, trying to get back to their car, in the blocked-off Walmart parking lot.
“I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction,” said Adriana Quezada, 39, who was in Walmart in the women’s clothing section with her two children.
She said she saw four men, dressed in black, wearing shirts, moved together firing guns indiscriminately.
“I saw four men, shooting everywhere,” Quezada said “I told my son, those are gunshots.”
Her daughter, 19, and son, 16, threw themselves to the ground, then ran out of the Walmart through an emergency exit. They were unhurt.
Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted, “Saddened by the loss of so many innocent lives in El Paso, TX. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire community. Grateful for the courageous efforts and swift action by federal law enforcement and local first responders.”
Saddened by the loss of so many innocent lives in El Paso, TX. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire community. Grateful for the courageous efforts and swift action by federal law enforcement and local first responders.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 3, 2019
Includes reporting from the Associated Press