AT least 20 people have been slaughtered in a bloody mass shooting at a Texas supermarket, it has been reported.
It is understood one gunman is in custody as cops are combing the Walmart and Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso after reports of multiple gunmen mowing down shoppers.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News as many as 20 people are dead and that a 21-year-old man is in custody connection with the shooting.
Initial reports suggest the weapon is an AK 47-style gun, but others suggest it was a rifle.
El Paso Police spokesman Enrique Carillo told reporters that one man is in custody and confirmed there are multiple fatalities.
Graphic images show bodies on the floor covered in blood in the car park of the Walmart and inside the superstore.
There are conflicting reports about the number of shooters, the weapon or weapons used and the exact figure of fatalities and injuries.
KFOX14 reported that police said 10 are dead and at least 30 are injured and said Homeland Security has been called in.
Witnesses said a shooter opened fire with a “rifle” or some other “semi-automatic” type weapon, KTSM 9 News reported.
It is unclear what the extent of the victims’ injuries are.
The University of Medical Center of El Paso told CBS News it had received 11 shooting victims, including one deceased person.
Nine patients were critical but stable condition, and two were stable.
They added that a 4-month-old child was among the patients it was treating.
Police confirmed they started receiving 911 calls from the public at the Walmart at 10am local time.
A short time after they were called to the Cielo Vista Mall at about 11am.
Vanessa was walking into Walmart when she heard what she describes as “fireworks, really loud fireworks.”
She told Fox News: “You could hear the pops, one right after another and at that point as I was turning, I saw a lady, seemed she was coming out of Walmart, headed to her car.
“She had her groceries in her cart and I saw her just fall.”
Witness Rey Holgin told CBS News he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard at least 10 gunshots and he believes he saw at least two people with guns.
He added he saw at least one person, an elderly lady, fall to the ground, but he’s not sure if she was shot.
Three Walmart employees hid a nearby Landry’s Seafood house, restaurant manager Oscar Collazo told CNN.
She said: “We never thought it would be so close to us this time.
“You see on the news all the time, but you don’t think it could happen here until it does.”
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene to assist the El Paso Police Department.
At least three nearby restaurants are on lockdown and video seen on Twitter shows people running out of the shopping centre with their hands up.
US Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said on Twitter she was “heartbroken” by news and was monitoring the situation.
Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, who used to represent the El Paso area, tweeted: “Truly heartbreaking.
“Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.”