A 16-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of another teenager at an El Paso, Texas, mall on Wednesday was stopped by an armed bystander who wasn’t afraid to open fire.
Interim Police Chief Peter Pacillas said the shooting preceded a fight and called it “a random incident between two groups,” according to KFOX-TV.
According to the El Paso Times, the groups that converged on the Silo Vista mall were comprised of six teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 and another group that included the 16-year-old suspect and three other ages. 15 to 20.
Police identified the slain teenager as Angeles Zaragoza, 17, according to Fox News. In addition to the suspected killer, two other people were shot, police said, Fox News reported.
The incident happened shortly after 5 pm on Wednesday.
Police have not released the suspect’s name, but Fox News reported that he is a Hispanic male.
According to KTSM in El Paso, the pedestrian was identified as 32-year-old Emmanuel Duran.
Police said that after the initial shots were fired, Duran, who was licensed to carry a gun, shot the suspect.
“As the shooting ended, the 16-year-old suspect began running and pointed the gun at bystanders, including 32-year-old Emmanuel Duran, who had a license to carry,” police said in a news release. release, according to Fox News.
“As the suspect ran toward Duran and bystanders, Duran pulled out his handgun and shot the suspect.”
According to reports, Duran and an off-duty El Paso police officer who was working security administered first aid to the suspect and others injured in the incident.
The handgun used by the suspect was reported stolen, El Paso Police Sgt. According to CNN, Robert Gomez.
“It’s always concerning, especially when a 16-year-old has a stolen handgun and fires a weapon inside a very crowded mall. It’s very concerning, it’s actually very disturbing,” Gomez said, according to KTSM-TV.
The 16-year-old suspect remains hospitalized in stable condition, police said. Charges against him are pending.
Texas ‘licensed-to-carry’ guide shoots El Paso mall shooter as he aims for more victims
El Paso, Texas police say a bystander shot the suspect in a shooting at a mall Wednesday, which was the result of a confrontation between 2 groups. https://t.co/jJEZfxrE70
— John R. Lott Jr. (@JohnRLottJr) February 18, 2023
Cielo Vista Mall said it will increase security, according to KFOX.
“While the El Paso Police Department’s investigation is ongoing, the police chief insists this was a random, isolated incident that stemmed from an altercation between two groups at a rented space near the food court,” it said.
“We are grateful for the quick response of the El Paso police officer assigned to the center, mall security, as well as the extensive support of the El Paso Police Department and other responding agencies,” the mall said.
This article was originally published in the Western Journal.