Deadly Shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas
On Wednesday evening, a deadly shooting took place at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. According to the El Paso Police Department, one person was killed and three others were injured. Two suspects were taken into custody, but it is unclear when and where the second suspect was apprehended.
An off-duty police officer working security at a store in the mall was able to take a suspect into custody within three minutes of the first report of the shooting. The shooting started after a fight broke out between two groups, during which one person pulled out a handgun and shots were fired.
At the time of the shooting, Cielo Vista Mall was adjacent to the Walmart where a white supremacist shot and killed 23 people in August 2019. In response to the tragedy, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that he spoke with El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, offering the full support of the State of Texas, including the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
The El Paso Federal Bureau of Investigation has also created a website for people to submit photos and video of the incident. The City of El Paso's Office of Emergency has also set up a hotline for community members who are dealing with emotional distress and trauma.
In the wake of the tragedy, the mall remained closed Thursday morning as police continued their investigation. It was expected to reopen late Thursday afternoon. A family reunification center was set up at Burges High School, a few blocks from the mall.
The Gun Violence Archive reports that, as of this year, there have been more than 70 mass shootings in the United States. According to both CNN and the archive, a “mass shooting” occurs when four or more people, excluding the shooter, are either injured or killed by gunfire. Not a single officer discharged their firearm during the incident. The University Medical Center of El Paso informed CNN that two males were brought to the facility in critical condition. Another victim was taken to Del Sol Medical Center and is in fair condition the hospital said.
The identities of the two suspects taken into custody following the shooting, as well as those who were killed or wounded, have not yet been revealed by the police. According to Pacillas, individuals involved in the shooting were aged between their late teens and early twenties, and he stated that the incident was not affiliated with any gangs.
Interim police chief Peter Pacillas assured the public that there is no longer any threat to their safety, despite the ongoing investigation.
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1. “1 dead, 3 injured at El Paso Mall shooting; 2 suspects in custody” KTSM 9 News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.ktsm.com/local/el-paso-news/deadly-shooting-at-cielo-vista-mall
2. “El Paso mall shooting leaves 1 dead and 3 injured” CBS News, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/video/el-paso-mall-shooting-leaves-1-dead-and-3-injured/
3. “Shooting at El Paso mall leaves at least one dead, three injured” Texas Public Radio, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.tpr.org/news/2023-02-15/shooting-at-el-paso-mall-leaves-one-dead-three-injured
4. “Cielo Vista Mall shooting started with ‘random encounter,’ El Paso police say” El Paso Matters, 16 Feb. 2023, https://elpasomatters.org/2023/02/16/cielo-vista-mall-shooting-started-with-random-encounter-police-say/
5. “1 dead, 3 injured after shooting at Cielo Vista Mall; 2 men in custody” KTXS, 16 Feb. 2023, https://ktxs.com/news/local/police-responding-to-shooting-at-food-court-at-cielo-vista-mall
6. “‘So blessed': Family reunites with 2 men who helped them escape Cielo Vista Mall shooting” KFOX El Paso, 17 Feb. 2023, https://kfoxtv.com/news/local/family-reunites-with-2-men-who-helped-them-escape-cielo-vista-mall-shooting-michelle-correa-darian-nave-sebastian-fernandez-el-paso-texas-february-16-2023
7. “El Paso police say fight between 2 groups led to fatal shooting at Cielo Vista Mall” El Paso Times, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2023/02/15/el-paso-police-shooting-inside-cielo-vista-mall-food-court/69908920007
8. “El Paso Mass Shooting Ends With 1 Dead, 3 Injured” TMZ, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.tmz.com/2023/02/16/el-paso-mass-shooting-mall
9. “1 dead, 3 injured in shooting at El Paso shopping mall” CNN, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/15/us/el-paso-texas-mall-shooting/index.html
10. “WATCH: EPPD says Cielo Vista Mall shooting was “random” incident between two groups” KVIA, 16 Feb. 2023, https://kvia.com/top-stories/2023/02/16/watch-live-eppd-says-cielo-vista-mall-shooting-was-random-incident-between-two-groups/