Many people, including celebrities and politicians, are expressing their outrage and condolences following the horrific shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.
At least 18 people have been killed in a mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Mall, law enforcement sources told NBC, ABC and CBS. At least 23 people were injured, CNN reports, citing spokespeople for two area hospitals.
The store was reportedly at capacity during the busy back-to-school shopping season, with as many as 3,000 people inside.
El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, who is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman, held back tears as he was visibly shaken upon learning of the horrific tragedy.
“I’m thinking about El Paso, I want you to be thinking about El Paso as well,” O’Rourke told reporters at a labor union forum in Las Vegas, adding that the shooting dispels “any illusion that we had that progress is inevitable or that the change that we need is going to come of its own accord.”
O’Rourke continued, “There is no luxury in this democracy of sitting this one out, whether it is gun violence, whether it is many of the issues we discuss today. It is on every single one of us to make this right.”
A few hours later, from the airport, O’Rourke told followers: “El Paso is one of the strongest places in the world — and if there were ever a moment to be strong, it’s this one.”
El Paso is one of the strongest places in the world—and if there were ever a moment to be strong, it's this one. Strong for one another, for the families who have lost somebody, and for the first responders. Please go to https://t.co/ecw9y18OSP to support our community. pic.twitter.com/FFgLPbXNIY— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019
I am devastated by what has happened in El Paso today. Our strength is with the families who are grieving. Our thanks to EPPD. Our commitment is with those who will change this country so that this doesn’t happen again. This beautiful amazing courageous community will overcome.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019
Now in the beautiful city of El Paso.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 3, 2019
Texans grieve today for the people of this wonderful place.
We unite in support of all the victims.
We thank First Responders for their swift action.
We ask God to bind up the wounds of all who’ve been harmed. pic.twitter.com/2l8jDPHbe1
President Donald Trump addressed the mass shooting on Twitter. “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed,” Trump tweeted. “Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”
Nancy Pelosi reminded many about how something must be done to end mass gun violence in the United States. “We are closely monitoring the situation in El Paso,” the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives tweeted. “While we are grateful for heroic first responders, our hearts ache for the families of those who were killed & the injured. Action must be taken to finally #EndGunViolence.”
Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2019
Heartbroken to hear the news from El Paso. Our thoughts are with those impacted by yet another senseless act of gun violence in America.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 3, 2019
How many lives must be cut short? How many communities must be torn apart? It’s past time we take action and end our gun violence epidemic.
The news out of El Paso is devastating. I'm heartbroken for the victims and their families. Far too many communities have suffered through tragedies like this already. We must act now to end our country's gun violence epidemic.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 3, 2019
My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it’s one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act? #ElPaso— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 3, 2019
Celebrities also reacted to the El Paso shooting, with many emphasizing the need for stricter gun laws.
“My goodness 💔🇺🇸 this is happening every weekend. Please Congress, please pass gun safety laws. @senatemajldr @GOP I’m looking at you. #ElPaso” actress Piper Perabo wrote on Twitter.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS...JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER.🖤— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) August 3, 2019
My heart breaks for the city of El Paso. The madness never ends. It is all too much. There‘a nowhere safe from the terror of gun violence in the United States of America. We are a broken nation trapped in the darkness of our unwillingness to ask ourselves why this keeps happening— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 3, 2019
this is scary man, praying for everyone in El Paso— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) August 3, 2019
Oh people of the great city of El Paso, my heart breaks for you. I can’t even imagine. America, WTF is wrong with us? Mass shootings a weekly event?! I’m speechless.— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) August 3, 2019
“This is a public health crisis. Hold your lawmakers responsible. @MomsDemand @Everytown,” Julianne Moore tweeted.
“PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS…JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER,” Westworld star Aaron Paul tweeted.
“My heart breaks for the city of El Paso. The madness never ends. It is all too much. There‘a nowhere safe from the terror of gun violence in the United States of America. We are a broken nation trapped in the darkness of our unwillingness to ask ourselves why this keeps happening,” Josh Gad posted.
It never ends.— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) August 3, 2019
We’re with you, El Paso. https://t.co/aEyvOcMCuK
El Paso Police Department Sgt. Robert Gomez told ABC that the suspect was “taken into custody without incident” and said police have ruled out multiple shooters.
At 3:52 MDT, police announced on Twitter that “there are no threats to other locations or venues in the city.”
The El Paso Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.