At least 29 people are dead after two mass shootings wreaked havoc across Texas and Ohio in less than 24 hours, the two gunmen storming popular local spots and opening fire with their rifles.
After news spread of the attack in El Paso, Texas, Saturday morning, the country turned its attention to Dayton, Ohio, where police said at least nine people were killed when a person shot them in a busy historic district early Sunday. The shooter, who police said was wearing body armor, also left more than two dozen injured.
People were forced to flee the area, many leaving behind the sandals and sneakers they had worn out that night. Photos showed the abandoned shoes gathered in a pile surrounded by yellow police tape.
Officers in the area were able to quickly respond and subdue the suspect, who has not been identified.
Less than a day earlier on Saturday morning, a 21-year-old man left at least 20 dead at an El Paso shopping complex, police said. The area included a shopping mall and a Walmart, where families were doing their back-to-school shopping.
A vigil was held just over the border in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. Groups of people gathered together under the night sky and held up their cell phones, flashlights shining, mourning the shooting victims, several of whom were Mexican.
Miranda Salas told KTSM in El Paso that she was doing back-to-school shopping at Journey's at the mall when suddenly the store manager told them to take shelter in the back of the store.
"I've never been so scared in my life," Salas said. "... They told us not to stop and to keep going."
Another witness, Vanessa Saenz, told The Washington Post that she was parking outside the Walmart with her mother and son when she heard what she thought was fireworks.
She said she turned and saw a man get shot and a woman sprinting past him.
“My mom yelled, ‘Just go! Speed and just go!’ but of course there were people trying to dodge the bullets and running through the parking lot,” said Saenz.
Other witnesses said that good Samaritans in the parking lot loaded the injured into their cars and drove them to nearby hospitals for help.
Glen Oakley was in the Foot Locker when shots rang out, and he immediately tried to help children get to safety.
As he made his way out of Foot Locker, Oakley said, he said he saw kids running around alone in the mall, apparently lost in the confusion.
"I got my bag in my hand, so I was just trying to pick them up one by one, as many as I can and just run out," Oakley told a local KTSM reporter.
He said the anxious kids were squirming in his arms, so he just did what he could and ran out of the mall with them.
"It was a whole bunch of kids in there," he said of the scene inside the mall. "I hope nothing happened to the kids. I tried to pick up as many as I could and bring them out with me."