Several Democratic presidential contenders called for action to end gun violence after a Saturday shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that resulted in multiple fatalities.
A police source told local news station KTSM that 18 people were killed. The El Paso Police Department confirmed to the outlet that there were multiple fatalities but did not say how many. Police said one person was in custody after the incident.
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE; Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro expressed sadness while calling for change.
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The shooting took place in the hometown of former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas), who canceled some scheduled campaign stops to return to El Paso.
“How many lives must be cut short? How many communities must be torn apart?” wrote Biden. “It’s past time we take action and end our gun violence epidemic.”
Heartbroken to hear the news from El Paso. Our thoughts are with those impacted by yet another senseless act of gun violence in America.
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 3, 2019
“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,” Warren wrote.
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
Sanders specifically faulted the Republican-led Senate that he said “does nothing” after shootings.
Everyone in America, myself included, is devastated by the news of this latest attack in El Paso. Sadly, after each of these tragedies the Senate does nothing. That has got to change.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 3, 2019
Buttigieg noted a personal connection to the area where the shooting took place, saying his grandmother took him to the Cielo Vista Mall when he was younger.
“How many more must grieve before we act?” he tweeted.
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
Booker tweeted that the was praying for both “everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy” and “for our country to find the moral courage to take action to end this carnage.”
Enough. We need to end this national nightmare. Praying for everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy, and for our country to find the moral courage to take action to end this carnage. https://t.co/vqTMSlbR8j
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 3, 2019
O’Rourke, who represented El Paso in Congress, delivered emotional remarks after he received news of the shooting.
“I’m incredibly sad, and it is very hard to think about this, but I’ll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world,” he said. “I’m going back there right now to be with my family and to be with my hometown.”
Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates. https://t.co/BU0AH6Y8Rv
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 3, 2019
O’Rourke later tweeted praise for the people of his birthplace in a video.
“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,” he said.
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
Castro, who is also from Texas, directly called for gun reform and blasted what he called “our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives.”
My heart is with the people of El Paso today as they cope with a devastating mass shooting—the scope of which we are still learning.
This attack is a tragic reminder of our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives. We need gun reform now. https://t.co/z0JTng4kVa
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 3, 2019
President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE also tweeted about the incident, writing “God be with you all!”