What to Do if You Are Caught in a Store Shooting

Inside Edition spoke to security expert Bill Stanton on how to get out alive.

The entrance to the El Paso Walmart has become a growing memorial for the victims. 

This time of year, a Walmart is filled with families for back-to-school shopping, but that left them out in the open with little to protect them from the shooter.

Security expert Bill Stanton author of "Prepared Not Scared: Your Go-To Guide for Staying Safe in an Unsafe World," told Inside Edition that retail giants are easy targets for a gunman.

“Shooters will look for soft targets, Walmart is obviously one,” he said, adding to always make a mental note of all the possible hiding spots in case of an emergency.

He suggested the stockroom as an option. “All bets are off, it says, ‘Do Not Enter,’ if you need to get away, you go in there,” he said. 

Videos from the Walmart in El Paso show shoppers taking shelter on the floor but Stanton said to run. 

“If you can see a shooter they can see you,” he said. “You gotta get out of that sightline as soon as possible.” 

The alleged shooter, Patrick Crusius, has a twin sister and an older half-brother. His parents divorced when he was a teenager. His father, John, is a drug counsellor and energy healer.

Crusius lived with his grandparents in Allen, Texas, while he attended the local community college.

His grandparents spoke out through a family friend, saying, “We are devastated by the events of El Paso, and pray for the victims of this tragedy.” 

Cops said Crusius drove 600 miles across Texas to El Paso targeting a Walmart he must have known to be popular with Hispanic shoppers.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, slammed the president Monday saying he has incited hatred in America

“He has incited racism, he has invited violence, these are the consequences for his actions and it is upon all of us, Republican, Democrat, and Independent alike to come together and rise up against that,” he told Inside Edition. “That is the example of El Paso and that is why I am so proud of this community right now.” 

“I heard people screaming, ‘They're shooting! They're shooting!’ When I turned over my shoulder, I heard the shots and the smoke from the barrel,” witness Joe Soto told Inside Edition. 

As others ran, little league baseball coach Jimmy Villatoro went into the line of fire to save his friends who were in the Walmart parking lot.

“I didn’t think about a shooter,” he said. “I was thinking about the kids.” 

When the shooter was apprehended, he didn't put up a fight. He was placed in the back of a police car.