UPDATE @August 6 | The death toll from the mass shooting at a shopping mall in Texas has now risen to 22.
Two people who were injured in the tragedy have sadly passed away in hospital.
They were among more than a dozen people injured in the massacre, aged between two and 82-years-old.
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EARLIER @ 9.45AM, August 4 | Officials in Texas have confirmed at least 20 people have been killed and another 26 wounded after a mass shooting in El Paso.
A gunman, armed with a rifle, opened fire in a packed Walmart store where hundreds of people were buying back-to-school goods.
The gunman is in custody.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott says everyone is reeling.
“Texas grieves for the people of El Pas today. On a day that would have been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.
“Lives were taken who should still be with us today.
“20 innocent people from El Paso have lost their lives and more than two dozen more are injured.
“We as a state unite in support of these victims and their family members.”
Police have confirmed the first 9-1-1 call came in at 10.39am local time.
El Paso Police Department Chief Greg Allen says the first officer was on the scene by 10.45am.
“The situation needles to say is a horrific one,” Chief Allen told reporters.
“The ages and genders of all these people injured and killed are numerous in the age groups.
“Unfortunately, the deceased will remain at the scene until the scene is processed.”
The FBI and other federal departments have been called in to assist in the investigation but the motive remains unclear.
“It has the nexus at this point in time to a hate crime, the FBI will be looking into that,m” Chief Allen said.
“We are looking at potential capital murder charges for this individual.”
Police have not released the name of the gunman but have confirmed he is a 21-year-old white male.
EARLIER @ 6.30AM | Multiple people have been killed after a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in the US State of Texas.
Police were called to Cielo Vista Mall in the border town of El Paso on Saturday afternoon after reports of shots being fired in a local Walmart store.
Security footage from the store shows a man armed with a rifle entering the front door while videos posted on social media show members of the public hiding in fear and running for their lives.
Initial reports suggested there was more than one gunman but Police have since ruled that out.
“At this time we do have one person in custody we don’t believe there’s anybody outstanding so we are starting to secure the scene,” Sergeant Robert Gomez from the EL Paso Police department told reporters.
The number of casualties is still not clear with reports a number of children are among the dead.
Local media report at least 22 people have been injured.
“We can confirm there were multiple victims, I cant confirm their status yet and I cant confirm the numbers,” Sergeant Gomez said.
The Walmart store was packed as people went back-to-school shopping.
Former Texas Congressman and Democratic Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said the incident has shocked everyone.
“We know that there’s a lot of injuries and a lot of suffering in El Paso right now.
“I’m incredibly saddened and its very hard to think about this, but I’ll tell you El Paso is the strongest place in the world this community is going to come together.”
In a statement, Walmart said it was “in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso.
“We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.”
— Noticias Telemundo (@TelemundoNews) August 3, 2019
We're in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located. We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.
— Walmart (@Walmart) August 3, 2019