EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Texas shooting at an El Paso mall that left one person dead and three others wounded began as a confrontation between two groups, police said Thursday.
The people involved in the fight Wednesday at Cielo Vista Mall ranged in age from late teens to their early 20s, interim police Chief Peter Pacillas said.
“This is a random incident that occurred between two groups at the mall,” he said.
The shooting added to the dozens of people already killed this year in mass shootings across the United States.
El Paso police said hours after the gunfire that two people had been taken into custody.
The shooting broke out in a busy shopping area and across a large parking lot from a Walmart where 23 people were killed in a racist attack targeting Hispanic people in 2019. El Paso — with a largely Latino population of about 700,000 people — sits on the U.S. border with Mexico, where residents of both countries cross frequently.
The United States has seen dozens of people killed in mass shootings so far in 2023, most recently Monday at Michigan State University, where three students were killed and five more were wounded. In January, 11 people were killed in the Los Angeles-area city of Monterey Park as they welcomed the Lunar New Year at a dance hall popular with older Asian Americans.
Pacillas said the two people taken into custody after Wednesday’s shooting as well as all of the victims were males.
The FBI, which is assisting El Paso police in the investigation, set up a website where the public can share photos or video from the shooting.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said in a tweet Wednesday night that he had spoken to the mayor of El Paso and offered assistance from the Texas Department of Public and Safety and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
In 2022, more than 600 mass shootings broke out in the U.S. in which at least four people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
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