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Walmart Employee Helped Around 150 Escape From El Paso Mass Shooting

The recent mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart has devastated a community and reignited a fierce debate over gun violence.

The tragedy claimed 22 lives — and those who were there shared their stories of a chaotic nightmare.

The gunman opened fire with an AK-47.

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Dozens of people were hit by gunfire. To date, 22 people were killed and more than 20 injured. The prime suspect has been identified as a 21-year-old from Allen, Texas with reported ties to the alt-right.

It's sent shockwaves through the community.

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Reporter Brianna Sacks is in El Paso, filing dispatches from a city trying to make sense of it all. The gunman reportedly penned an anti-immigrant manifesto — disturbing news for a city with a large Mexican-American population.

The stories are poignant.

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A morning trip to Walmart is an experience familiar to practically every American. But on the day of the shooting, no one could have expected the chaos that would ensue.

Dozens of lives were changed forever.

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Shootings are often defined by their death tolls. But it's easy to forget about the people who survive, but sustain serious injuries. Virtually every mass shooting not only kills people, it also leaves others maimed for life.

This Walmart employee is a bona fide hero.

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Sacks shared the story of Gilbert Serna, who'd worked at the El Paso Walmart for years. He said he first heard that something was amiss on his two-way radio.

"Code brown".

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Serna said he checked what "code brown" meant, realized it meant a shooting, then heard the distinctive sound of gunfire nearby. While many might freeze in the situation, Serna quickly sprung into action.

He herded shoppers to safety.

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Serna directed about 150 customers and employees out of the store through a fire exit and into some shipping containers to escape the violence. He closed the container doors to hide them from the shooter.

Serna thinks things will get worse before they get better.

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Mass shootings are unfortunately nothing new in the United States, but recent shootings have been carried out by individuals with racist, anti-immigrant leanings. Many commentators have linked this to to the presidency of Donald Trump.

Serna's a true hero.

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There's no word on whether Walmart plans to honor their long-time employee for his heroism, but it seems like a safe bet. If it wasn't for his actions, the death toll could have been far greater.

The debate continues.

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President Donald Trump is set to speak in El Paso — a move that the city's mayor isn't exactly happy about. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

h/t: @bri_sacks