El Paso shooting: Politicians, celebrities plead for action, post heartfelt messages to victims

A number of US politicians and celebrities have taken to social media in the wake of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, expressing heartfelt messages of support and pleading for greater gun control.

A 21-year-old white male gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso's Cielo Vista Mall, injuring 26 people and killing 20. The gunman has been named by multiple media outlets as Patrick Crusius. 

Alleged El Paso shooting gunman.
The alleged El Paso shooter. Photo credit: KTSM/supplied.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson called for an "open dialogue" in a solemn message to the victims of the shooting.

"Stay strong as we're forced to heal yet again. What leader will step up to command wiser/effective talks? Not sure what the answers are but it all starts with open dialogue," the Hobbs & Shaw actor posted on Twitter.

US President Donald Trump sent his "thoughts and prayers" to the victims, and confirmed he was working with law enforcement and state and local authorities.

"God be with you all," he posted.

"After each of these tragedies the Senate does nothing. That has got to change," tweeted Senator Bernie Sanders.

"We must come together to reject this dangerous and growing culture of bigotry espoused by Trump and his allies... instead of wasting money putting children in cages, we must seriously address the scourge of violent bigotry and domestic terrorism."

Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren shared her devastation on Twitter, saying the shooting had left her "heartbroken".

"We must act now to end our country's gun violence epidemic," she wrote.

Actress Julianne Moore referred to the wave of mass shootings as a "public health crisis". "Hold your lawmakers responsible," she tweeted.

"The madness never ends... there's nowhere safe from the terror of gun violence in the United States... we are a nation trapped in the darkness of our unwillingness to ask ourselves why this keeps happening," wrote prominent voice actor, Josh Gad.

Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul called for people to "love one another".

Singer-songwriter Khalid, who was born in El Paso, wrote "this is scary man".

Walmart has also publicly responded to the attack.

Authorities are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime after a manifesto, allegedly posted to the online forum 8chan by the shooter, revealed a racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The author reportedly expressed support for the alleged Christchurch gunman, who posted his own manifesto in the same forum before the March 15 massacre - leading to claims that the Walmart shooting may have been inspired by the Christchurch attacks.

The El Paso attack comes less than a week after three people were shot dead by a 19-year-old gunman at a garlic festival in California.