One person was killed and three more were injured when a shooter opened fire at a shopping center in El Paso, just across the street from the site of a mass shooting that left 23 people dead in 2019.
Shoppers were evacuated from the Cielo Vista Mall after shots were fired in a food court around 5pm on Wednesday.
One person was pronounced dead. At least two of the wounded victims were transported to University Medical Center in El Paso in critical condition.
The third wounded victim was hospitalized, but their condition is unknown. None of the victims have been identified at this time.
Videos from the incident show panicked shoppers sprinting out of the building as four loud shots echo through the mall’s cavernous interior.
A suspect was apprehended only minutes after the attack began. He was detained within minutes by an off-duty El Paso police officer who was working as a security guard.
‘We had an off-duty officer working at a local establishment within the mall and were on scene at 5.08pm,’ El Paso Police Chief Peter Pacillas said. ‘That officer immediately took one individual into custody.’
El Paso Police spokesperson Sgt Robert Gomez said one weapon was recovered at the scene, but he wasn’t sure if that was the weapon used in the shooting.
Gomez said that police were still working to determine a motive for the attack.
Another suspect was taken into custody hours later. After the arrest, Pacillas said there was ‘no more danger to the public.’
The deadly shooting took place just across the street from the El Paso Walmart where 23 people were killed and 22 more injured in a mass shooting in 2019.
Just one week before Wednesday’s incident, the 24-year-old shooter Patrick Wood Crusius pleaded guilty to 90 federal hate crime charges. He was sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences in prison.
In his plea agreement, Crusius admitted that he targeted the Walmart in order wound or kill Hispanic people. He also admitted to targeting El Paso due to its location on the US-Mexico border, and hoped his attack would dissuade more immigrants from moving to the US.
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