EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After a person was killed and three others were injured in a shooting at Cielo Vista Mall on Wednesday, KTSM 9 News are now hearing from people who were inside the mall when the shooting happened.
The El Paso Police Department says the shooting happened after a fight between two groups in the food court area.
El Pasoan Yvonne Del Rio who works at a store in the mall near the food court describes barricading in a back room for hours with her coworkers and shoppers.
“At the moment we had no idea, all we heard was the screams, the running, people trying to hide and that’s all we knew. And that’s where the fear came from mostly, is just what we heard and it was a lot of yelling, a lot of memories back to the August 3,” said Del Rio.
Several videos showed people running through the mall as the shots rang out. When the shooting initially happened, the El Paso Police Department said there was a possible second suspect still on the loose. However, hours later they said they had two suspects and there was no danger.
“It was intense it’s very hard to put into words especially the day after, it’s just a lot for all of us,” said Del Rio.
Commenting on the information released by police on Thursday that the shooting stemmed from a fight.
“It is scary to think about considering that it was just a fight so other than the relief I think it just brings more fear because if that was just a fight what are we supposed to expect next,” said Del Rio.
Another mall employee Chelsea Summers spoke with KTSM shortly after being evacuated by law enforcement on Wednesday.
“I was in the back and we heard five synchronized shots and it sounded like it was tapping on our back door at first or right outside our door,” said Summers.
Summers said employees saw police and people running through the mall and barricading themselves.
“We quickly activated our emergency protection procedures to barricade us in the back. Quickly after that, we locked the service door and someone was trying to get into our back door moments after we heard the shots,” said Summers.
The El Paso Police Department says all of the people involved were teenagers and in their early 20’s. Police called it a random incident that was isolated to the food court of the mall.
The first call came in at 5:05 p.m. and police say at 5:08 p.m. an off-duty officer who was working at a store in the mall was able to respond and take one suspect into custody.
Police also add that three people were legally armed with handguns.
After the shooting when people were evacuated, they were taken to Burges High School and picked up by family and friends.
On Thursday, cars could still be seen in the parking lot of Cielo Vista Mall, vehicles belonging to employees and shoppers who were at the mall when the shooting happened.
The El Paso Police Department announced Thursday afternoon that people could come and get their cars but must bring their keys and photo IDs.