Multiple people were killed and three suspects were in custody after the latest U.S. mass shooting sent panicked shoppers fleeing at Celo Vista Mall.
Footage emerged on social media of a man hiding under a steel table as what appear to be shots are fired inside the store.
Several loud shots can be heard in the background, as someone is mumbling incoherently. A second person who was recording the footage was also hiding, and at this point it is not known how near or fear they were the shooter.
It is not known for certain, but an individual who could possibly be one of the suspects, is seen walking past as the man lays down in total silence in what must have been a terrifying moment.
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Footage shows one man lying under tables in an apparent effort to evade a shooter at a Walmart store in El, Paso, Texas on Saturday afternoon
It is not known for certain, but an individual who could possibly be one of the suspects, is seen walking past as the man lays down in total silence in what must have been a terrifying moment
The Twitter user who posted the footage, with the handle @sahluwal, said: ‘I need you to see and hear this.
‘This video was taken by someone in El Paso during the shooting. Human beings hiding & afraid for their lives because our politicians are unwilling to pass stricter gun control legislation. We don’t have to live this way.’
The footage received over 186,000 views within minutes of being posted on Saturday afternoon.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said three people had been arrested by police, but could not immediately say whether all three were directly involved in the shooting.
“This is just a tragedy that I’m having a hard time getting my arms around,” Margo told CNN.
The El Paso Police Department said the scene remained active around the Cielo Vista Mall, near the WalMart.
‘There isn’t an imminent threat. There’s no active shooter currently, but that isn’t to say we’ve rendered the scene safe at this time,’ El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told reporters.
Multiple law enforcement agencies raced to the scene, including police, state troopers, Homeland Security agents and border patrol.
This photo shows an officer helping a shopper away from the scene. It appears there are blood stains on the shopper’s clothing
This photo on the left shows a shopper running for cover during the shooting in El Paso on Saturday
Shoppers are seen being evacuated from the Cielo Viesta Mall in El Paso, Texas on Saturday
One witness said he saw at least one person inside the store with a fatal head wound, and he saw shoppers in bloodied clothes.
Other stores at the nearby mall were also locked down as police officers cleared the shopping center in the east of the city, which lies on the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
Video posted on Twitter showed customers at one department store being evacuated with their hands up.
“Hands in the air!” an officer can be heard shouting in the footage.
An employee of a nearby Olive Garden told The New York Times that the restaurant has also been placed in lock down.
At least 10 people ran into the restaurant seeking cover, the employee said.
‘We don’t have any information, just that there’s an active shooter at the Walmart in the same parking lot as we are,’ the employee said.
‘We’re just on lock down right now.
‘The SWAT team just came in and told us that they had cleared the building and told us lock the doors.’
Susana Franco, an assistant manager at a Men’s Wearhouse in the Cielo Vista Mall complex, claimed that least 15 people came into her store in the hope they would be safe.
She said police officers, military and the SWAT team were all visible from her store’s front windows.
‘They’re not letting people in the parking lot. They’re trying to evacuate all of the mall.’
At least three local businesses in the area remained on lockdown. The mall complex is near Interstate 10 and on El Paso’s east side.
One witness, Vanessa Saenz, told Fox News that she heard several ‘pops’ around the area. She witnessed a man in a black shirt and cargo pants with a weapon shooting outside the building before entering the Walmart.
‘He was just pointing at people and just shooting,’ she claimed. Another witness Ray Holgin told CBS News that he was going to enter the Walmart store but then he heard over ten shots.
He said he saw at least one person, an elderly lady, fall to the ground, but he’s not sure if she was shot.
Another man named Adriana told Associated Press said he saw ‘more than one person’ involved in the shooting.
He said: ‘There were at least three of four people. They were dressed in black.
‘I didn’t see their faces. I saw them all dressed in black (indistinct) and they were the ones shooting because I could see their weapons and the bullets firing.’