Shooting At El Paso Mall Leaves Multiple People Dead
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We're going to begin the program with the news out of El Paso, Texas. Police say that one person, a man, is in custody after a shooting that took place near a Walmart and shopping center around 10 a.m. local time just after the mall opened. El Paso police say multiple people were killed. This is a developing story. Details have been coming out little by little all day. So we're going to get the latest now from El Paso. We're joined now by reporter Monica Ortiz Uribe. And she's in El Paso right now.
MONICA ORTIZ URIBE, BYLINE: Hi, Michel.
MARTIN: So what do we know about what happened? Do we know how many shooters there were? Do we know how many injuries there are?
URIBE: I spoke to an El Paso police spokesman about an hour ago, and there isn't much that they know at this point. They first got word of the shooting at 10 a.m. local time, and it happened at an area Walmart. The officer told me there were multiple victims, possibly some fatalities, but no confirmations on exact numbers yet. Police have one person in custody. All they could tell us was that he's male. And at this point, the investigation has moved from the active shooter site to a crime scene investigation. And I've been watching multiple authorities go in and out of the Walmart, including the SWAT team cars parked outside. There's also a mass casualty situation ambulance parked just behind the building.
MARTIN: I do notice that the El Paso police have tweeted that there's an urgent need for blood donations. That can't be a good sign. So tell us what you know about the place where the shooting happened. I notice that school is about to - public school's about to start in a little over, say, 10 or 12 days. Tell me a little bit about the area. Was it busy?
URIBE: Yes. So the Walmart where the shooting occurred is probably the busiest Walmart in the entire city, especially on a Saturday. It's located in a shopping district that includes a Sam's Club, a movie theater and a couple of very large malls. On any given weekend, you'll also see here in addition to El Pasoans lots of Mexican shoppers, and you'll hear both Spanish and English spoken in the aisles. It's only about a 15-minute drive from the border here and our neighboring sister city, Ciudad Juarez. It's a place where you'll see how these two cities and, in fact, these two neighboring countries, Mexico and the U.S., interact with one another culturally and economically.
MARTIN: And we have about - just only about 30 seconds left, Monica. So have you had a chance to speak to people? Then what are they saying?
URIBE: Yes. I spoke to a family of three in the parking lot. They were inside the Walmart when the shooting happened. It was a mom and her two teenage kids. The mother saw a shooter - the shooter entering the building as they were headed toward the checkout. They decided to make a run for the back-door exit. They made it out unharmed. But they described the scene as chaotic - lots of people screaming, small children lost and crying for their mothers. At the moment, police have created a staging area for families looking for their loved ones at an area...
MARTIN: All right. That is a reporter Monica Ortiz Uribe. She was with us from El Paso, Texas, where a shooting took place earlier today leaving multiple victims. And we certainly thank her for her reporting. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.