After reports of a deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 3, President Donald Trump is speaking out. According to The New York Times, multiple people were killed and several were wounded in a shooting at an El Paso shopping center. Full details are still being provided, and on Saturday afternoon, Donald Trump's response to the El Paso, Texas shooting acknowledged the tragedy is "very bad," as he warned of a high casualty count.
In his tweet about the shooting, Trump conveyed the gravity of this situation when he said:
Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!
The shooting happened late Saturday morning at a Texas shopping center in El Paso, per The Washington Post. The mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, shared a tweet on Saturday, confirming El Paso Police Department reports of "several fatalities." According to NYT, a spokesperson for the El Paso Fire Department confirmed to the publication that emergency response personnel had transported 18 wounded individuals to hospitals in the area. As of just after noon local time, the El Paso Police Department was warning individuals to stay away from an active shooter area in Cielo Vista Mall, per a tweet from the department.
President Trump's tweet stating the shooting left "many killed" appears to be in line with reports that came from the scene.
With the scene still unfolding, final reports on the number of people killed in the shooting had yet to come in, but The Post reported a local NBC affiliate in El Paso, KTSM, put the number at "at least 18," and a Fox News report shared that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the network that "between 15 and 20 people were shot." As people came to grips with the news, many took to Twitter to share their condolences.
Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke apparently planned to head back to his hometown following the tragedy, and he shared a short tweet telling El Paso residents to "stay safe."
Elizabeth Warren shared her condolences and also called for more gun control, as she expressed how she was "heartbroken for the victims and their families."
Another Democratic candidate Julián Castro, who is from San Antonio, Texas, posted a message sharing his own thoughts on the tragedy. He shared that his "heart is with the people of El Paso ... as they cope with a devastating mass shooting," and he took a moment to call for "gun reform now."
As of publication, CNN reported the El Paso Police Department had one suspect in police custody, per Sgt. Robert Gomez, and there no longer appeared to be an ongoing threat.
As more details surrounding the deadly shooting come out and the final numbers of dead and wounded are released, more condolences are likely to roll in. For those worried about loved ones who may have been near the scene, Texas officials on Twitter shared information about a reunification center at MacArthur Middle School in El Paso, Texas.
With the preliminary reports about the shooting, it appears people should steel themselves for a high victim count, as President Trump mentioned in his tweet. Another deadly shooting will no doubt spark a gun control debate, but only time will tell whether Congress and the president will approach the discussion of stricter gun laws in an effort to hopefully prevent another mass shooting in the United States.