Beto O'Rourke Calls El Paso 'Strongest Place in the World' as Stars React to Tragic Shooting

At least 18 people have been killed and 23 people were injured, according to multiple reports

Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Scott Eisen/Getty Images; Mike Pont/WireImage

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.”

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.”

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.

“This is a public health crisis. Hold your lawmakers responsible. @MomsDemand @Everytown,” Julianne Moore 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.

NBC, CNN, and ABC have identified the shooter as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, which is more than 600 miles from El Paso. Police have not discussed a motive.

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.

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