Off-Duty Police Officer Took Down El Paso Shooter, Chief Says

By Published on February 16, 2023

An off-duty officer at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, helped apprehend a suspect when an unspecified male started shooting, according to CBS News.

At approximately 5:05 p.m. the El Paso police started receiving calls of an individual firing off several rounds and striking at least four people and killing one, according to Interim El Paso Police Chief Peter Pacillas. The suspect was taken into custody by 5:08 p.m. with the help of an off-duty officer; two suspects have been arrested in the attack.

“We had off-duty officers working at the local establishment within the mall, and were on scene at 5:08 p.m., within three minutes,” said Pacillas. The officer apprehended the suspect without firing a weapon, he noted.

Two of the individuals shot are in critical condition, according to CBS El Paso. A third is in fair condition, and one was dead at the scene.

Two males were taken into custody, but Pacillas did not provide further information about their names or the second male’s role in the shooting. “There is no more danger to the public,” he said.

There is no word on why the shooting took place, but multiple agencies responded to the scene, including the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the El Paso County Sheriff’s office.

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“A great deal of credit needs to go out to the off-duty officer that was at the mall this evening and was able to get one of these individuals in custody in a very quick amount of time,” FBI special agent Jeffrey Downey said.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser told the press conference that El Paso police are leading the investigation with help from federal, state, and local enforcement agencies. “We did our job,” Mayor Leeser said. “All officers were in the surrounding area within minutes.”


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