El Paso Mayor Dee Margo praised first responders who rushed to the scene of the shooting at a local Walmart that killed 20 people and injured 26 more on Saturday morning and told Fox News he is focused on "making sure that we can bring our city together."
Police received the first reports of an active shooter at 10:39 a.m. Officers were on the scene six minutes later and apprehended the suspect, a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, at 11:06 a.m. without exchanging any gunfire.
Margo called it "remarkable police work, which is why we're considered one of the safest cities in the nation," and noted that officers participate in routine drills to prepare for active shooter situations.
Still, Margo told "America's News Headquarters", "we're not prepared for this and I'm not sure that any Mayor should be for something like this."
"The perpetrator is not from El Paso and I do not believe anybody from El Paso would have done anything like this," he said. "This is not our community and this is not what we're about and we've been one region and one community for 350 years."
Investigators say hundreds of shoppers were inside the crowded Walmart Saturday, along with 100 employees during the busy back-to-school shopping season.
Margo, along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other local officials, helped community members search for missing loved ones at a school being used as a reunification area before heading over to the shopping center to survey the crime scene.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the shooting is being treated as a "murder investigation with numerous casualties," and added that police are investigating a manifesto that may have been written by the suspected shooter, providing what the chief called a "nexus to a hate crime."
Margo noted with sadness that he was "gearing up for 20 funerals" and wants to ensure that the victim's families know "my heart is breaking. You're in our prayers. We'll do anything we can to support you, and we're all in this together."