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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Two dead, including alleged shooter, in El Paso VA clinic shooting

Elahe Izadi (c) 2015, The Washington Post. One person was shot and killed in an Army medical facility in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon, and the alleged shooter is dead, army officials said Tuesday night.

The incident at the El Paso Veteran Affairs Clinic was reported around 3:10 p.m. local time, Maj. Gen. Stephen Twitty, commanding general of Fort Bliss, said at a news conference.

“All other VA patients and staff are safe,” Twitty said. “Everything is under control and there is no immediate threat to Fort Bliss or the local community.”

Officials offered condolences, but took no questions from reporters and gave no details about the identities of the victim and alleged shooter.

Earlier in the evening, the office of Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, confirmed that a doctor had been shot.

The FBI is investigating the shooting, and the agency’s Doug Lindquist said they have hundreds of witnesses that they need to interview. “They were here seeking medical assistance,” he said.

The William Beaumont Army Medical Center, which is adjacent to the El Paso VA main health care facility, was placed on lockdown late Tuesday afternoon after reports of an active shooter situation. Streets surrounding the complex were blocked off and helicopters flew above, the El Paso Times reported. For hours, people within the facility tweeted photos to local reporters, writing that they were still under lock down.

Twitty said the VA “immediately enacted their response plan for all persons to shelter in place.” Lindquist described the response to the active shooting as “a model of how to respond.”

“We’ve been preparing, in the event, to respond to something like this, and unfortunately we had to today,” Lindquist said.

The clinic will be closed Wednesday and veterans will have theirs appointments rescheduled.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is deeply saddened by the tragic situation that has occurred in El Paso, and we are actively working with our partners at Fort Bliss to investigate this matter,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate fully with military and civilian authorities at Beaumont Army Medical Center. The safety and continued care of our Veterans and the staff will be our focus throughout this situation.”

Washington Post staff writer Emily Wax-Thibodeaux contributed to this post.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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