Texas mall gunman was terminated from US Army training due to mental health concerns
The Texas man who killed eight people while carrying out a mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday (6 May) was terminated from the US Army training in 2008 due to a physical or mental health concern according to the US Army.
The shooter, identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, entered the regular army in 2008 but was terminated three months later according to a statement provided to The Independent by Heather J Hagan, US Army Public Affairs Spokeswoman.
“Mauricio Garcia entered the regular Army in June 2008; he was terminated three months later without completing initial entry training. He was not awarded a military occupational specialty. He had no deployments or awards,” Ms Hagan said.
She added that the Army does not provide characterisation of the discharge of any soldier.
However, an Army Official noted that Garcia was “separated” under the 2005 edition of Army Regulation 635-200 paragraph 5-17, “other designated physical or mental conditions”.
Garcia’s mental health has been subject to questions after law enforcement investigating the horrific attack revealed that Garcia may have engaged with white supremacist or neo-Nazi rhetoric online.
An insignia associated with right-wing groups was found on the gunman’s clothing indicating he could have embraced a far-right ideology. Though law enforcement said they had not established a motive for the mass shooting yet.
Local and state law enforcement are working with the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine if the shooting was racially or ethnically motivated. As of now, authorities believe Garcia acted alone in the shooting.
Garcia arrived at the mall around 3.30 pm local time on Saturday armed with an AR-15-style rifle, body armour and multiple rounds of ammunition.
A dashcam video circulating on social media appeared to show the gunman getting out of a grey sedan just outside the mall’s entrance and then immediately begin shooting.
Allen police said that an officer attending an unrelated call at Allen Premium Outlets heard gunshots at 3.36 pm on Saturday.
Eight people, ranging in age from 5 to 61, were fatally shot before Garcia was shot dead by law enforcement. An image circulating online seemingly showed Garcia lying on the ground after being shot.
Police said while searching the car Garcia arrived at the Allen Premium Outlets mall in, they found multiple weapons.
Initial reports say Garica formerly worked as a security guard and received firearms training. It is believed that he did not have a criminal history.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said Garcia is from Dallas.