A man wielding an assault-style rifle opened killed at least 21 people and injured more than two dozen others at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, with most of the attack victims shot at a nearby Walmart, law enforcement officials told the Associated Press.
Two law enforcement officials who spoke to the AP identified the suspected shooter as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man from the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas. He was taken into police custody without incident.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the attack “has a nexus to a hate crime,” with authorities citing an online manifesto posted by the suspect describing “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” as one motivation.
Earlier in the day, police implemented lockdowns as far as three miles from the mall where the shooting took place.
“Active Shooter in area of Hawkins and Gateway East,” the El Paso Police Department tweeted at 10:30 a.m. PT, urging people to stay away from the scene. “Reunification center for families at McCarthur Middle School on Whittus,” they tweeted at 12:33 p.m.
A spokesman for the University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso told NBC News that multiple victims have been taken to different hospitals, at least 10 victims with “level one” injuries being transported to UMC.
“Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed,” President Donald Trump Tweeted at 1:10 p.m. “Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”
Images of the shooter taken from Walmart’s security footage have emerged on Twitter. The image shows the suspect walking into the El Paso Walmart wearing a pair of earmuffs and caring what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. Police say they have no information yet on the motive for the shooting, but they are investigating the possibility of it being a hate crime.
Within hours of the massacre, hundreds of activists for the anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action staged a protest outside the White House. According to the CBS local station WUSA, more than 2,000 leaders of the group were in Washington, D.C., for a conference this weekend.