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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

What we know about the Texas mall shooting

Volunteers built a makeshift memorial outside the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, where a shooting left nine people dead, including the suspect, on May 7, 2023. The motive of the gunman so far remains a mystery.

By Josh Needelman and Adam Goldman

Residents and authorities in a Dallas suburb Sunday began to process the shooting at a crowded mall in which police say a gunman killed at least eight people, including children, and injured at least seven others before a police officer killed him.

The shooting occurred Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas, and turned a busy afternoon of shopping into chaos.

Here is what we know about what happened.

How did the shooting unfold?

Gunfire erupted around 3:30 p.m. local time, police said, as throngs of shoppers filled the outdoor mall, which has more than 120 stores.

A video posted on social media appears to show a figure clad in black getting out of a silver car in a parking lot and opening fire.

Other videos circulating on social media show people dashing for shelter or running through a parking lot as loud popping noises are heard in the background.

Who is the gunman?

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Sunday identified the shooter as Mauricio Garcia, 33.

Garcia may have espoused white supremacist ideology, according to two law enforcement officials, but it was not yet known if the shooting was an act of domestic terrorism.

Garcia acted alone, authorities said; a police officer who was at the mall on an unrelated assignment heard the gunfire, rushed toward it and killed Garcia.

Police so far have not identified the officer.

Who were the victims?

Nine people, including the gunman, were pronounced dead, police said.

Of those victims who were hospitalized, three were in critical condition and four were in stable condition.

A spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare, which was treating victims at its three trauma facilities, said the injured ranged in age from 5 to 61.

The victims have not been publicly identified.

In a statement Sunday, President Joe Biden said an unspecified number of children were among those killed.

What did witnesses see?

Geoffrey Keaton was having lunch with his 16-year-old daughter at Fatburger in the mall when they heard gunshots.

“I got my baby girl under the counter to shield her, and then they got louder, like he was right there,” Keaton said.

Keaton said the restaurant’s manager had allowed customers to hide in the back, where they then exited through a rear door and ran to their cars.

A livestream from a local Fox television affiliate showed scores of shoppers being evacuated in an orderly fashion from shops.

“It was just kind of chaotic for a second,” said Kaleo Palakiko, 36. “Then when someone said, ‘Shooter,’ we all ran to the back of the store.”

Palakiko and his parents hid in a storeroom for about 45 minutes before they were released by the police and walked out with their hands in the air.

How does this shooting compare with others this year?

Saturday’s attack is the second-deadliest shooting of the year, after the Monterey Park, California, massacre Jan. 21, in which a gunman killed 11 people in a ballroom.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a database of shootings in the United States, there have been 199 “mass shootings,” which the archive defines as the shooting of at least four people, in 2023.

On April 28, a gunman killed five people in Cleveland, Texas, near Houston, after he was asked by neighbors to stop shooting in his yard. He was captured after a multiday search.

On May 1, a registered sex offender fatally shot six people, including his wife and three of her children, near Tulsa, Oklahoma, before turning the gun on himself.

On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire at a medical office building in Atlanta, killing one person and injuring four others. That, too, led to a search before the suspect was caught.

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