Multiple people were killed in the attack, officials said
Multiple people have been killed in an attack at a shopping centre in El Paso in Texas, police and a mayor’s aide have said.
One person is in custody after the shooter went on a rampage on Saturday at the Cielo Vista Mall.
Police Sergeant Enrique Carrillo told reporters that there were “multiple fatalities” and that officers were “searching multiple scenes, primarily the Walmart”.
He did not say how many people were wounded or killed.
NBC News reports that a University Medical Center official said it had received 10 seriously injured victims and that some victims were taken to other hospitals.
Sgt. Carrillo said a suspect was in custody and there was no longer danger to the public.
Police earlier urged people to stay away from the complex after receiving reports of multiple shooters at the mall.
Many people caught up in the attack were buying back-to-school supplies.
El Paso police Sergeant Robert Gomez said authorities had ruled out multiple shooters.
He said there were initial reports that the gunman used a rifle.
“This thing is fluid and dynamic. As of right now we don’t think there’s multiple (suspects) but that could change,” Sgt. Gomez told reporters at the scene.
The White House said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting and has spoken to Attorney General William Barr and Gov. Greg Abbott.
Gov. Abbott described the shooting as a “heinous and senseless act of violence”.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss”, he said in a statement.
“We have deployed troopers, special agents, Texas Rangers, tactical teams, and aircraft to the scene in a support role.
“The state of Texas will do everything it can to ensure justice is delivered to the perpetrators of this heinous act.”
Presidential candidate and former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke said he is distraught by the news of a mass-shooting in his hometown of El Paso.
Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas, he said he planned to return home immediately to be with his family and asked “for everyone’s strength for El Paso right now.
“Everyone’s resolve to make sure that this does not continue to happen in this country.”
Walmart said in a statement: “We’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall… We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders.”
The mall complex is near Interstate 10 and on El Paso’s east side.
El Paso, which as around 680,000 residents, is in West Texas and sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.
Courtesy of Sky News
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced States of Public Emergency (SOEs) for the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James.
“After careful consideration and review of the crime statistics, in particular violent crimes which have been committed in some western parishes, the security forces have advised that the current situation would warrant the Government advising the Governor-General to declare/proclaim States of Public Emergency,” the Prime Minister said, during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday (April 30).
Mr. Holness said the Governor-General has declared that a State of Public Emergency exist in the community of the entire area comprising the parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
“This proclamation shall, unless previously revoked, remain in place for 14 days or for such longer period not exceeding three months,” the Governor-General said.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, gave reasons for the declaration of the SOEs.
According to data outlined by the Commissioner, between January 1 and April 28 this year, 29 persons were murdered in Westmoreland; 27 persons were murdered in St. James and 18 persons were murdered in Hanover.
In 2018, some 97 persons were murdered in Westmoreland; 84 persons were murdered in Hanover and 55 persons were murdered in St. James.
“In 2018… the parish of Westmoreland was the most murder-dense place in the country, followed by the parish of Hanover. If you look at what has happened since the beginning of 2019, you will notice that Westmoreland is ahead. Westmoreland is now leading, St. James has gone up 70 per cent over where it was last year at this point, and Hanover is still significantly high,” he said.
For his part, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, said at dawn today, both the JDF and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) deployed their members to the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover.
The SOEs will give the security forces temporary additional powers, including powers of search, arrest and detention.
During the SOEs, the security forces will have the power to search, curtail operating hours of business, restrict access to places and detain persons without a warrant.
A State of Public Emergency was first declared in St. James on January 18, 2018 by the Prime Minister. It ended on January 31, 2019.
Courtesy of jis.gov.jm