Army specialist recounts being in the crosshairs of El Paso shooter: "Fight or flight"

Twenty-six-year-old Army Specialist Alden Hall turned a corner and found himself in the El Paso shooter's crosshairs. It was near the produce aisle. Hall saw the suspect raise his rifle toward him and smirk inside the Walmart in El Paso Saturday. The gunman fatally shot 20 people that day, and wounded more than two dozen others, before he was arrested.

Correspondent David Begnaud asked Hall, "When you turned and took off, how quickly after that did you hear gunfire?"

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Twenty-six-year-old Army Specialist Alden Hall found himself face-to-face with the shooter at the Walmart in El Paso Saturday. CBS News

"Approximately four seconds after, and it hit the guy next to me," he replied. That victim, Hall said, was within arm's length of him.

Did he survive? "The first shot, yes, but not the second shot," he replied.

After taking cover in the aisles, he turned back to help, but saw it was too late.

"Fight or flight at that time,' Hall said. "I just had to leave, 'cause I knew he was, he was gone."

He bolted for the closest emergency exit. Others inside hid under tables as bullets flew by them.

Once outside, Hall saw people frozen in place and tried to keep them calm while others tended to the wounded.

"They were being taken out in the carts ... It was like back to back to back," he said.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.

In a racist manifesto he allegedly wrote, he expressed support for the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter, and denounced the increasing Hispanic population in Texas. Prosecutors are still deciding whether they want to pursue federal hate crime charges against the suspect.

Hall said he regrets not having his personal handgun to protect himself that day, and says next time, he'll be prepared.

"I didn't think that I would need an assault rifle or a bigger handgun, but after seeing that yesterday all things are possible," he said.

Begnaud asked, "Are you planning to buy a bigger weapon?"

"This is an open carry state, so most definitely."

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