2020 Democrats call for action after El Paso shooting

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 BidenEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Hill Reporter Rafael Bernal: Biden tries to salvage Latino Support Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE; Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall In shift, top CEOs say shareholder value not top goal MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Top aide Jeff Weaver lays out Sanders's path to victory MORE (I-Vt.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever MORE (D-N.J.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters 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'RourkeO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession 2020 Democrats feel more emboldened to label Trump a racist Hillicon Valley: O'Rourke proposal targets tech's legal shield | Dem wants public review of FCC agreement with T-Mobile, Sprint | Voters zero in on cybersecurity | Instagram to let users flag misinformation 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."

"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.

Sanders specifically faulted the Republican-led Senate that he said "does nothing" after shootings.

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.

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."

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."

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.

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." 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE also tweeted about the incident, writing "God be with you all!"