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 BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE; Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Boston set to elect first female mayor Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack trillion tax hike the opposite of 'good investment' Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished MORE (I-Vt.) and Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegPete and Chasten Buttigieg welcome twins Coalition urges Democrats to restore billion in transit funding Say it ain't so, Joe MORE; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro expressed sadness while calling for change.
The shooting took place in the hometown of former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Democrat to filibuster GOP elections bill Lawmakers must also serve as community organizers O'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor 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.— 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," 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.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 3, 2019
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
President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE also tweeted about the incident, writing "God be with you all!"