El Paso congresswoman responds to mass shooting

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, responds to the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on "This Week."
5:14 | 08/04/19

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Transcript for El Paso congresswoman responds to mass shooting
Turning back to the massacre in El Paso, I'm joined now by congresswoman Veronica Escobar whose district includes that Walmart. Congresswoman, my condolences to the entire El Paso community. Thank you for joining us. Thank you, Jon. We know that 20 people were killed in this horror, but also more than two dozen wounded. What more can you tell us about those victims? The victims, Jon, range in age from 2 years old to senior citizens. In fact, the 2-year-old who survived and is recovering is recovering from broken bones because his mother, a young mother, 25-year-old mother who was shot multiple times and killed, used her body to shield him and save his life. So the survivors include that 2-year-old and many people are still fighting for their lives, and I'm so grateful not just to the first responders but to those surgeons, those nurses, all the staff in the hospital who have been working tirelessly to keep our families and friends alive. Authorities are investigating what we're told is a possible hate crime. It sure looks like that's what it is. What more can you tell us about the investigation, what we know about the killer? Well, we know that he is 21 years old and that he came from outside of El Paso to do us harm. You know, Jon, El Paso is a very safe community. We've been one of the safest communities in the nation for decades. We are a warm, loving, compassionate, binational community. We love, celebrate and embrace our diversity, our location on the u.s.-mexico border, and this individual came not from within the community but outside of it. And so, I feel it's important to make sure that the investigation goes on without me commenting on it or making certain assumptions, but I will tell you, in this country we have a gun violence epidemic but we also have a hate epidemic. Until we confront that hate and until we confront the weak gun laws that we have, we're going to keep seeing this. And the families in this community deserve better. The families in every community in America deserve better. Help us understand this area. Help us understand specifically this mall, this Walmart. Who is there? Tell us about this store. Yeah, this is a store that is located kind of in the center of the community, and it is one of the busiest Walmarts in the community. It was busy because school is getting ready to get started so there were a lot of parents, grandparents, children who were there shopping for school supplies. It's the store that my mom shops at. She lives just blocks away. It's the store that my family and I shop at, and so there's no surprise that it was very, very busy. It was a typical Saturday. People just going about their business. It also is a store where a lot of our neighbors and friends and family members from across the border come to shop. We are, again, a binational community where we are one region separated by a river but where we share family roots, history, tradition, economies in many respects, and so the fact that this store was targeted I believe was not coincidental. How concerned are you about immigrants in your district who may be afraid to report crimes, report warnings out of fears of what the president's talked about, stepping up deportations? You know, I'm scared for immigrants across this country and for immigrants in my community as well. But here's one thing, Jon, that we have in El Paso that makes us very special. We have local law enforcement that has traditionally, for years and years and years, engaged in positive community engagement, positive -- basically community policing where they have worked for years, decades, to build relationships with everyone regardless of status because we all know and recognize here locally that in order to be a safe community, we have to treat people with dignity and respect. We want people to report crime. We want people to be witnesses in criminal trials. We want people to feel safe, and so we have a very different philosophy in El Paso from the philosophy that emanates from the white house. We embrace one another and take care of one another. Congresswoman Escobar, thank you for joining us on this horrible, horrible day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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