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Socorro woman charged with making Walmart shooting threats; 2nd Borderland arrest in a week

Vanessa Annette Tarango
Socorro PD
Vanessa Annette Tarango, accused of threatening to "shoot up a Walmart."

SOCORRO, Texas -- A Socorro resident was arrested by police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday evening for allegedly making a Walmart shooting threat online.

It was the second such arrest in less than a week.

A magistrate on Thursday ordered Vanessa Annette Tarango held on $20,000 bond on a charge of making a terroristic threat causing fear of imminent serious bodily injury. She was also banned from going anywhere near any Walmart stores.

In addition, authorities said she was also arrested for "an active violation of
a probation warrant held by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office." No further details on the probation violation were provided.

"The person responsible for today's online threat has been taken into custody. FBI, El Paso police and the City of Socorro took action once again to keep our community safe," the FBI had said in a brief statement announcing her arrest on Wednesday night.

While Socorro police on Thursday said Tarango's "posts specifically mentioned committing an act of violence against a Walmart store," authorities declined to discuss more specific details about the threat.

However, sources told ABC-7 Tarango allegedly posted to social media that she thought Walmart shootings were "funny." She also reportedly wrote, in broken English, that "I'm going to be the next one to shoot up Walmart."

Much like last week's arrest of a Horizon City man who is accused of making similar threats, the FBI said public tips led to Wednesday night's arrest.

"We are very thankful to the concerned citizens that reported this to us," the FBI said. And the Bureau also issued a warning to others to think before posting to social media.

"Take a second to think about what you send out. You can find yourself behind bars for up to 5 years for something that wasn't funny. The law enforcement community takes all potential active shooter threats seriously," said the FBI statement.

In the Horizon City case, 29-year-old Alex R. Barron is facing federal weapons charges. He allegedly posted to social media, "Watch out Walmart I'm coming... drop like flys," along with a photo of a weapon.

Federal agents said they found multiple firearms, including a machine gun, at Barron's home. But a search of Tarango’s home at the time of her arrest turned up no weapons, Socorro police said on Thursday.

Authorities have said they take these type of threats especially serious following the Aug. 3, 2019 attack when a shooter opened fire at the Cielo Vista Walmart, killing 23 people. The suspect in that shooting is currently awaiting trial.

El Paso / News / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



      1. When judges hand out “slap on the wrist” sentences for DUI manslaughter, etc. those are liberal judges. Case in point. A few years back, a 19 year old got drunk, plowed through construction barriers on I-10 and killed two workers. Judge gave him 6 months probation!

        1. Just a guy trying to do a very difficult job. Sometimes we, the public, are not privy to all the details the judge took into account before sentencing. Some of it could be a simple plea agreement between the defense and the state. I agree that 6 months probation does not sound like an appropriate sentence for killing two people.

          1. Your wishful definition does not fit any of the liberal judges on the bench. They don’t hide it. They want to kill the Constitution with their progressive stupid views.

  1. Walmart has done a very good job of trying to make sure we have what we need. Quit threatening the good guys. Threaten the bad ones if you have to threaten someone.

    1. No. Not when you have crazies determined to put this country down to the third world countries like Messy Co. No. Hell no. We didn’t defend this country to give it to socialists or communists. Thats what lonseome, 1946, alberto, and all its personalities are. A bunch of idiots all put together to undermine the progress of the most wonderful country in the world. The USA.

        1. I know very well who those people are. And I’m being gracious in calling them people. You need to educate yourself on who they are. Read The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. All 3 volumes. Then come back here and present your case about communism and socialism. You will be surprised how similar it was there as it is here with the democrats trying to do the same thing here. You, my friend will be one of the first ones in one of those Gulogs. Don’t doubt me.

          1. I read the same thing in a college class. I saw absolutely no correlation between the folks in that treatise and our present day Democratic party.

  2. So this fool is a woman. Spoke with broken English and threatens to be the next shooter at Walmart. Wait! I thought only white, unwashed democrat crazies wanted to kill innocent people? Who knew the unwashed illegal aliens had a beef with the US. She must not be getting welfare checks for her 10 kids by different fathers like alberto.

      1. If you mean I win your arguments about supporting Mr. Trump, then yes. Thanks for supporting the orange man. He is the best president this nation has had since Mr. Lincoln. Bar none.

      2. markturner1946 says:”Its people like nadodave who always win my arguments for me.”

        That’s impossible because you are obviously a loser. You can’t even debate without your TDS setting you off.

  3. I don’t know what communism is? Really? Take a look what the chicoms are saying?
    “China’s state-run media targeted congressional Republicans on Thursday for their outspoken stance against the nation’s government and their condemnation of the country’s nefarious actions concerning the novel coronavirus outbreak.”
    Here is a nation dead set on destroying this country. And you still say I don’t know what communism is? Really?

      1. Apparently you don’t know what freedom is. You take it so lightly to defend the evil of China and Russia. That is your loss. But please. Go to a gulag and enjoy yourself. Then come back here, if you can and tell us all about it. Comrade.

      2. In a different subject. Sort of. Read this headline: “Biden struggles badly during “virtual roundtable” as gaffes continue to pile up”.
        Is this the so called leader you want to place your future on? Really?

        1. Ol’ gaffe a minute Joe. Yeah, he screws up sometimes, but he’s not a Nazi. Also not every word coming out of his mouth is a lie. Can’t wait til January 21, 2021. At least he will restore dignity to the White House and the nation.

          1. Joe Biden is a sexual predator and pervert. Just ask Tara Reade. Crazy Joe will never make the Democrat Convention in Milwaukee this August therefore never get elected as POTUS. Right now he claims over 600,000 Americans have died from the COVID-19. He does a gaffe a day and even Democrats are starting to get worried about it. Plus who smells little girl’s hair.

  4. This poor creature violated the law but she probably is mentally ill and in need of treatment. That other guy is probably more of a real threat. He needs a good beating in the booking area and two 10 year sentences run consecutively.

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