EL PASO, Texas — Multiple people were killed Saturday in a shooting in El Paso, Texas, the chief of staff to the city’s mayor said.
According to CNN affiliate KTSM, at least 18 people have been shot. El Paso police said a suspect was taken into custody.
Suspects are in custody, Olivia Zepeda said. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were in custody or how many had been killed or hurt.
“Scene is still active,” police wrote at 1:03 p.m. ET, adding, “avoid the area” around Hawkins and Gateway East boulevards.
Police got reports of multiple shooters and were “conducting (a) search of a very large area,” they tweeted just after 2 p.m. ET.
Agents from the FBI office in El Paso are responding to the incident, the office told CNN.
‘You don’t think it could happen here’
At least three businesses are on lockdown in the area, about three miles south of El Paso International Airport.
Three Walmart employees took refuge at a nearby Landry’s Seafood house, restaurant manager Oscar Collazo told CNN. The women appeared “shook up” but not injured.
Landry’s had already gone on lockdown, he said, but opened its doors when the employees ran there.
“We never thought it would be so close to us this time,” Collazo said. “You see on the news all the time, but you don’t think it could happen here until it does.”
The nearby Hooters and Red Lobster are also on lockdown. Employees at those restaurants told CNN they are safe and see a lot of police, helicopters and people running around outside.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who once represented the area in Congress, asked residents to follow the directions of first responders.
“Truly heartbreaking,” O’Rourke said on Twitter. “Stay safe, El Paso.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that the state Department of Public Safety is assisting local law enforcement.
The scene is unfolding in the same week two employees were fatally shot at a Walmart store in Southaven, Mississippi, and three people were shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.