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A 16-year-old who fatally shot a man at Cielo Vista Mall on Wednesday was shot and wounded by a bystander as he tried to flee, police said Friday.
The person killed in the shooting, in which three others were injured, was identified as Angeles Zaragoza, 17, of El Paso.
A 17-year-old El Paso man who was in a group with Zaragoza was shot and wounded by the 16-year-old suspect, police said in a news release Friday night. A 20-year-old Clint man who was in a group with the 16-year-old suspect also was shot and wounded, though the police press release didn’t say who shot him.
The 16-year-old suspect ran from the shooting scene and began pointing his gun at bystanders, including Emanuel Duran, 32, of El Paso, police said. Duran drew a handgun he was carrying and shot the 16-year-old, the news release said.
Duran and an off-duty police officer working security at a mall store rendered aid to the 16-year-old and the other gunshot victims until first responders arrived, the news release said.
The news release is the first time that police have acknowledged that a private citizen shot and wounded the suspect. El Paso Matters initially reported on Wednesday that a private citizen had intervened, citing a source who asked not to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The police news release said Duran had a license to carry a firearm, although Texas law since 2021 has not required such licenses and permits anyone who legally owns guns to carry them in most public settings.
Cielo Vista Mall, like many private businesses, posts signs prohibiting weapons on its premises. Under Texas law, carrying a firearm in such a location is a Class C misdemeanor. However, that law generally can’t be used against a person with a license to carry a handgun, if the handgun is carried in a holster.
Police said charges are pending against the 16-year-old, who is considered a juvenile under Texas law.
The news release said the shooting occurred at about 5:05 p.m. Wednesday following an altercation between two groups near the food court. Officers on the scene told police dispatchers that the shooting occurred outside Greatest Grillz, a business near the food court.
According to the release, one group included Zaragoza, the 17-year-old who was shot and wounded, a 16-year-old male, and two girls, ages 14 and 17. The second group included the 16-year-old suspected gunman, the injured 20-year-old Clint man, and two boys ages 15 and 17.
Police haven’t provided details of what led to the fight, though Interim Police Chief Pete Pacillas said Thursday that it was not gang related.
On Wednesday and Thursday, El Paso police said two “subjects” were detained following the shooting. Friday’s news release only mentioned potential charges against one person, the 16-year-old who allegedly fired shots that killed one person and injured another.
Police haven’t responded to questions from El Paso Matters on the status of the second subject mentioned previously.