EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A shooting that left one person dead and three others injured Wednesday at Cielo Vista Mall was the result of a confrontation between two groups of people, El Paso police said.
“It was a random encounter between two groups at the mall. A confrontation at the food court area at Cievo Vista and that’s where it was isolated to,” El Paso Police Interim Chief Peter Pacillas said on Thursday.
Police said the shooting was preceded by a verbal and physical confrontation between the two groups.
“In group B one person produced a handgun and shots were fired. As a result, one member of group A was injured and deceased. Two in group B were wounded and are in stable condition at area hospital,” Pacillas said.
Two personas have been arrested in connection with the shooting. All those involved are people in their late teens or early 20s, police officials said. When asked if groups A or B were gang members, police officials said “no.”
Police said the shooting was random and neither targeted the mall nor the people of El Paso, in general. Officials emphasized the point given Wednesday’s shooting took place next to a Walmart where on Aug. 3, 2019, a lone gunman who traveled to El Paso from North Texas the night before shot 23 people dead and wounded nearly two dozen more in a racially-motivated attack.
“This was no attack against the community. This was something that was not planned. It was an encounter between two groups that unfortunately resulted in a shooting,” El Paso Police Sgt. Javier Sambrano said. “It is very important that this information is relayed accurately so as to not panic the community.”
Sambrano said everyone touched by gunfire was a member of the two groups involved. He said during the ensuing investigation police came upon three people at the mall who were armed but were lawfully carrying weapons.
Police said they could release no additional information due to the ongoing investigation.