One Dead, Three Injured in El Paso Shooting Next Door to 2019 Shooting that Killed 23
A mall shooting in El Paso on Wednesday, February 15 left one dead and three injured. Shots rang out at a bar inside El Paso’s Cielo Vista Mall, which sits next door to the Walmart where a 2019 shooting left 23 dead. Authorities are currently investigating a motive behind the shooting.
Another shooting in El Paso
Mallgoers began to flee after hearing the shots from inside the bar. “It was chaotic. People did flee. They were scared,” said Sergeant Robert Gomez. Video footage from the shooting posted on social media shows people fleeing the scene as shots are fired.
Local authorities took two men into custody, according to interim El Paso Police Chief Peter Pacillas.
Pacillas is serving as El Paso’s police chief following Greg Allen’s unexpected death in January. The two shooters shot four people, altogether. All the victims were male.
One of the victims died on the scene while the other three are now in intensive care. University Medical Center of El Paso confirmed that two men arrived at the hospital in critical condition. The condition of the third victim is still unknown. However, he is expected to survive.
An off-duty police officer working as a security guard apprehended the shooters just minutes after the first shots. 911 calls began pouring in at 5:05 PM. The off-duty officer responded just three minutes later and subdued the suspects immediately. Interim Chief Pacillas confirmed the officer did not fire his weapon.
“It was a dynamic scene and it was quickly brought under control,” Pacillas said. As of now, the Cielo Vista Mall is an active crime scene and will continue to be closed until authorities further investigate the area.
The Cielo Vista incident comes three years after a massacre next door
In addition to grappling with this latest act of violence, many are pointing out the fact that the Cielo Vista Mall shooting occurred a few hundred feet away from a 2019 Walmart shooting that left 23 dead. That shooter, Patrick Crusius, recently pleaded guilty to 90 federal hate crime counts.
The 2019 El Paso shooting was particularly devastating and has since become one of the deadliest hate crimes in the United States.
Democratic officials in Texas are noting how normalized shootings in the state have become. State Representative Veronica Escobar responded to Governor Greg Abbott in a tweet.
She wrote, “How about gun violence prevention legislation for our community’s security? You promised you would take action after the August 3rd shooting and you’ve done nothing but loosen gun laws. The legislature is in session. Be a man of your word for once and do something!”
Similarly, Beto O’Rourke tweeted, “This shooting at Cielo Vista is painful for El Paso, especially the families of those killed at the nearby Walmart in 2019. I don’t know the details yet. But what I do know is that I love this town and I will do everything I can to stop this from happening again.”
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