El Paso shooting: 1 dead, 3 injured at Cielo Vista mall

A shooting at a mall in El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday night killed one person and wounded three others, authorities said, and two male suspects were arrested.

The shooting was reported at 5:05 p.m. local time at Cielo Vista Mall, Interim El Paso Police Chief Peter Pacillas said in a news conference late Wednesday night.

Within three minutes of the shooting, off-duty officers working in mall security responded, and one of those off-duty officers took a suspect into custody, Pacillas revealed.

“We had off-duty officers working at the local facility inside the mall and were on the scene within three minutes at 5:08 p.m.,” Pacillas said, adding that the off-duty officer arrested the suspect without firing a weapon.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were taken to local hospitals, police said. There was no immediate word on their terms. All four victims were men, Pacillas said.

The police chief did not provide details of how the second suspect was arrested, and names, ages or descriptions of the victims or suspects were not immediately released.

“There is no longer any danger to the public,” Pacillas said of the situation.

Texas Mall Shootout
Police officers are seen at the entrance to a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, where a deadly shooting broke out, on February 15, 2023.

Andres Leighton/AP

El Paso Police Sgt. Robert Gomez told reporters in an earlier briefing that the investigation indicated the shooting “occurred in the approximate area of ​​the food court, but that has not been confirmed.”

Nothing was known about a motive.

Several agencies responded to the shooting, including the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and the US Border Patrol. The FBI is assisting the El Paso Police Department in their investigation, Pacillas said. FBI El Paso Field Office special agent Jeffrey Downey praised the off-duty officer who arrested the first suspect.

“A lot of credit must be given to the off-duty officer who was at the mall tonight and managed to arrest one of these individuals in a very short time,” Downey said.

Pacillas said the mall will remain “locked down” until authorities complete their initial investigation.

The shooting comes exactly a week after the 24-year-old shooter in the Mass shooting 2019 at a nearby Walmart – where 23 people were killed by a man deliberately targeting Hispanics – pleaded guilty on federal hate crimes and firearms allegations. This Walmart is located across from Cielo Vista Mall.

Shooter Patrick Crusius agreed in a plea deal to accept 90 consecutive life sentences, one for each charge.

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