Potential massacre averted as armed citizen takes down El Paso mall shooter
A 16-year-old Hispanic male reportedly opened fire inside a Texas mall last week, killing one man and badly injuring three others. After leaving the food court bloody, the youth allegedly took aim at bystanders. The gunman’s continued aggression proved to be a fateful slip, for a stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip.
What are the details?
The El Paso Police Department indicated that around 5:05 p.m. on Feb. 15, a dispute between two groups at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso devolved into a brutal melee.
Police are responding to shots fired in the food court of Cielo Vista Mall, scene still active. Avoid the area.
— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) February 16, 2023
The first group reportedly consisted of six Hispanic teenagers, including 17-year-old Angeles Zaragoza and another 17-year-old who was “seriously injured.”
The second group of Hispanic youths comprised the 16-year-old alleged shooter, a 20-year-old male, and two other male teenagers.
During a bout of fisticuffs, the shooter reportedly brandished what police have confirmed was a stolen firearm.
Katie Hood, a witness, told CBS Mornings, “We heard the two kids arguing and one of the kids looked at the other one and just said that he was going to kill him. And that’s when he pulled out a gun.”
The Hispanic youth proceeded to fatally gun down Zaragoza. He also allegedly managed to badly wound one of the decedent’s compatriots.
The 20-year-old apparently on the side of the 16-year-old gunman managed to catch a bullet as well.
After the initial bloodletting, the 16-year-old reportedly began to run, taking aim at bystanders, including 32-year-old Emanuel Duran.
According to investigators, Duran was one of multiple legally armed citizens nearby, but evidently the only one needed to bring the mayhem to an end.
As the gunman advanced on Duran and other bystanders, Duran reportedly drew his firearm and shot the suspect. KTXS indicated that Duran shot the gunman at least twice because he felt “threatened.”
Duran joined an off-duty EPP officer — who had been working security at a store in the mall at the time of the incident — in rendering aid to the suspect and the others who were injured.
Peter Pacillas, interim chief of the El Paso Police Department, told reporters last week that off-duty officers in the area were on the scene at 5:08 p.m. and that two individuals were taken into custody.
The 16-year-old alleged gunman is reportedly in stable condition.
Video taken inside the mall shows people desperately fleeing the scene of the skirmish as well as what appears to be an arrest of one of the individuals involved:
🚨#UPDATE: Video shows a chaotic scene inside of the mall as people run and take cover. Police have just issued a Mass casualty incident declared with additional ambulance dispatched to the scene. 3-4 people have been shot inside the food court with one reported dead. pic.twitter.com/FcQkNMolh8
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 16, 2023
The mall is on the same block as the Walmart where 23 were murdered in 2019 by an individual who pled guilty to all 90 federal charges earlier this month.