August 03, 2019

Several people dead in Texas supermarket shooting
Several  people are reported to  have been killed and more than 20  injured  in a shooting spree at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. According to initial reports, 18 people were shot. The El Paso mayor’s office confirmed there had been multiple fatalities, but the number was unclear. However the number of reported casualties increased as more details emerged. Nine of the 11 victims taken to one El Paso hospital were reported to be in a critical condition. Ryan Mielke, spokesman for the University Medical Centre in El Paso, said one of the 13 patients it had treated had died. Others were facing life-threatening injuries. One patient was as young as two, others were senior citizens. El Paso police said there was one person in custody, understood to be a 21-year-old man. It was initially reported that a man armed with assault rifle began shooting in the parking lot at the Cielo Vista Mall at around 10 am local time, before moving inside.  Later reports suggested there was a  second shooter, also armed with an assault rifle, but this was not confirmed by the police. According to witnesses the shooter started at the Walmart before moving across to the nearby shopping mall before opening fire again. Mobile phone footage showed people running away from the scene in panic. Others cowered in terror, with some shoppers hiding under tables or in cupboards as the gunman unleashed a volley of bullets.  Police at the scene of the Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre/Rex Police put out a tweet urging people to stay away from the area. Nearby businesses, including several restaurants, were put on lockdown. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives announced that it has dispatched federal agents to the scene to assist local law enforcement. Democratic presidential candidate and  former Texas congressman, Beto O’Rourke, who represented El Paso in the House of Representatives choked back tears speaking to reporters as the news unfolded. "El Paso is the strongest place in the world. I am going back there now to be with my family and my home town. "We have to resolve this is not going to continue to happen in this country." Mr O’Rourke’s successor in Congress, Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar  tweeted he was “utterly heartbroken” by news of the shooting. Speaking to CNN she added: "This is a heartbreaking moment for a very safe and wonderful community. "There are no words for the kind of pain this great community is feeling. This is unfortunately a pain that is too common in America," she said. Ray Holgin told CBS News that he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard at least 10 gunshots. Miranda Salas was shopping for the next school year. "I heard a lot of yelling and there were cops telling us to get on our knees," she told CNN.   My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it’s one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act? ElPaso— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 3, 2019 A witness who gave her name as Vanessa said she had just pulled into the parking lot at Walmart and "all of a sudden you heard what sounded like fireworks, really loud fireworks." "You could hear the pops, one right after another and at that point as I was turning, I saw a lady, seemed she was coming out of Walmart, headed to her car. She had her groceries in her cart and I saw her just fall," she told Fox News. The witness told Fox that she had seen one man open fire wearing what appeared to be combat fatigues. "He was wearing a black t-shirt, camo-coloured pants. He was wearing something to cover his ears, like headphones, really thick ones. "He was carrying a dark rifle and he was just pointing at people and just shooting and, yeah, the last thing I saw, he shot somebody that was in a corner." The El Paso incident took place within days of two people being shot and killed at a Walmart Branch in Southhaven Mississippi. It is the third mass shooting in the US in a week.  Last Sunday three people were killed and 15 wounded at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. US presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, recalled being taken to the Cielo Vista Mall. "Now it's one more mass shooting scene. How many ore must grieve before we act?" The White House said President Donald Trump, who is spending the weekend at his golf club in New Jersey, had been told about the shooting. 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 "The President has been briefed on the shooting in El Paso, and we continue to monitor the situation," White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves said in a statement. Mr Trump had spoken to Attorney General Bill Barr and Texas Governor Greg Abbott about the shooting. He called the shooting "a heinous and senseless act of violence," adding that "our hearts go out to the victims."
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