"So I pulled out my phone in case they were going to shoot me ... and started recording while I was running", he said.
Saturday's suspect was officially identified as a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb some 650 miles (1,046 km) east of El Paso, which lies along the Rio Grande, across the U.S. -Mexico border from Ciudad Juarez. She could not immediately say how many people were killed, or give any other details about the suspects.
At a Democratic presidential candidate forum in Las Vegas a clearly emotional Beto O'Rourke, a former Texas congressman who is from El Paso, broke the news to the audience about the deadly mass shooting in his home city.
Shortly after the shooting, a four-page manifesto expressing hatred of Hispanic immigrants and detailing a plan for an attack began to circulate online. Officials declined to elaborate and said the investigation was continuing.
As we take off running you can hear, 'pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.' Like he's shooting faster because people started running so he can get more people injured.
El Paso has become a focal point of the immigration debate, drawing Trump in February to argue that walling off the southern border would make the USA safer, while city residents and O'Rourke led thousands on a protest march past the barrier of barbed wire-topped fencing and towering metal slats. Intolerable. And it's not Texan.
"But we have to be very very clear that conduct like this, thoughts like this, actions like this, crimes like this are not who or what Texas is and will not be accepted here".
According to a police scanner the shooter was armed with an automatic weapon, possibly an AK-47, and that they began shooting in the auto park before entering the business.
Allen responded by reiterating that police are investigating a possible manifesto indicating the attack could be motivated by hate. "The state of Texas will be the lead prosecuting agency in this".
"Utterly heartbroken by the developing news in El Paso".
"He was just shooting randomly". But I'll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world. We've been safe for decades, we will continue to be safe. This community is going to come together.
One official said that the specific number of people killed and wounded was subject to change, noting that some of the victims were critically wounded. He later condemned the shooting as "an act of cowardice" and a "hateful act".
Mourners taking part in a vigil at El Paso High School after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today's hateful act.
The AP/USATODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database tracks all USA homicides since 2006 involving four or more people killed, not including the offender, over a short period of time regardless of weapon, location, victim-offender relationship or motive. The ministry was still trying to locate other people who were reported as having been at the shooting site, he said.
Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, also said the El Paso shooting suspect wasn't on her group's radar screen prior to the shooting. He added: "We can beat the NRA".