Texas mall shooting: Everything we know about deadly outlet massacre

Eight people have died and seven were injured when a gunman dressed in tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas.

The suspect was shot dead by a police officer who was responding to an unrelated call, police said.

He has been identified by law enforcement sources as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, according to NBC News.

Hundreds of shoppers fled from Allen Premium Outlets, a large outdoor shopping centre, after gunfire erupted at about 3.30pm local time on Saturday.

Seven people, including the gunman, were pronounced dead at the scene, and two more died after being taken to hospital, the Allen Police Department said.

Here’s what we know so far about the shooting.

How the shooting unfolded

Dashcam video circulating on social media appeared to show the gunman getting out of a grey sedan just outside the mall’s entrance and immediately begin shooting at passersby in the carpark.

More than three dozen shots could be heard on the footage.

Witnesses told CNN that panicked shoppers screamed and hid behind cars as the suspect shot indiscriminately.

Inside the mall, families and employees rushed to take cover in storage areas and hallways, witnesses said.

According to Allen police, an officer attending an unrelated call at Allen Premium Outlets heard gunshots at 3.36pm on Saturday.

The officer “engaged the suspect and neutralised the threat”, police said in a statement on Facebook.

Audio footage obtained by the Daily Mail captured the officer telling dispatch: “I need everybody I got.”

About two minutes after calling for backup, the officer told said he “got him down”.

The area was soon flooded with law enforcement officers and medics.

Hundreds of shoppers exiting the  Allen Premium Outlets after a mass shooting on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Hundreds of shoppers exiting the Allen Premium Outlets after a mass shooting on Saturday. (Associated Press)

An image obtained by media appeared to show the suspect lying on the ground after being shot.

He was dressed in black body armour, with additional magazines strapped to his chest, and an AR-15-style rifle was lying beside him.

Maxwell Gum, a 16-year-old pretzel stand worker, told the Associated Press that terrified shoppers stampeded as they sought safety. He said that he sheltered in a storage room.

Another witness Kingsley Ezeh told CNN he heard a woman behind him scream “someone’s shooting”, and saw a man holding a neck wound that was dripping with blood.

Mr Ezeh said he and others huddled at the back of a store for more than two hours as police cleared the scene.

Allen resident Steven Spainhouer said he rushed to the scene after his son, who was working at an H&M store in the outlet, called him.

Mr Spainhouer said he saw several children among the deceased, and tried to perform CPR on several victims. At least three of the people he tried to save succumbed to their injuries at the scene.

“I never imagined in 100 years I would be thrust into the position of being the first first responder on the site to take care of people,” Mr Spainhouer told CBS News.

“The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes, so I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side and she had no face.”

Video footage showed hundreds of shoppers exiting the mall with their hands raised.

What we know about the victims

Seven people — including the suspect — were killed at the scene, Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said at a press conference on Saturday. Nine people were transported to hospital, where two more succumbed to their injuries.

Three survivors were undergoing surgery and remained in a critical condition on Saturday night, Mr Boyd said. Four others were in a stable condition.

Medical City Healthcare spokesperson Janet St James, said their trauma facilities received eight patients between the age of 5 and 61 following the shooting.

The identities and ages of the victims have not yet been released, but witnesses reported they included young children.

On Sunday, family members identified Christian LaCour, a 22-year-old security guard, as among the deceased.

What we know about the suspect

On Sunday afternoon, NBC News reported he had been identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, citing law enforcement sources.

Police have not released a possible motive, but Garcia was wearing a patch on his chest that suggested he may have had white supremacist beliefs, law enforcement sources toldthe Washington Post.

Garcia had several weapons including an AR-15 rifle and a handgun on him and in his car, the Post reported.

According to CBS News reporter JD Miles, Garcia was a security guard with no serious criminal record.

He had been living in a motel at the time the shooting, Mr Miles said.

FBI agents raided a Dallas home where Garcia had been living with his parents for years, according to Fox News.

Officers were stationed outside the address on Sunday. The suspect’s family reportedly requested a translator to speak with authorities.

The gunman drove himself to the mall. Video showed him exiting a grey sedan vehicle, was dressed in black tactical gear, and armed with an AR-15-style weapon, and open fire.

Law enforcement have reportedly raided the Garcia’s home.

The Texas Bureau of Public Safety is leading the investigation into the suspect. The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Texas Rangers have also been deployed to assist local law enforcement agencies with the investigation.

What lawmakers are saying

Allen Mayor Ken Fulk said in a statement that the quick thinking of law enforcement had prevented greater loss of life.

“Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today.”

He said the community would “wrap our arms around” the victims and familiesimpacted by the tragedy.

“Allen is a proud and safe city which makes today’s senseless act of violence even more shocking,” he said.

Law enforcement officers at a mall in Allen, Texas, where a gunman killed eight people on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Law enforcement officers at a mall in Allen, Texas, where a gunman killed eight people on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who recently signed laws easing gun restrictions, called the mall shooting an “unspeakable tragedy.”

His comments were met with anger from gun safety advocates, and state and national lawmakers.

Roland Gutierrez, a Texas state senator, told MSNBC there was a “special place in hell” for lawmakers who do nothing to stem the unprecedented wave of gun violence.

“I don’t care about their thoughts and I don’t care about their prayers,” Mr Gutierrez said.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, called on Mr Abbott to tell Texans the truth about why mass shootings continue to occur.

“You need to explain that your policies failed and that you lied. Your policies are to blame.”

Survivors of the Allen mall mass shooting are escorted away from the scene by police officers. (via REUTERS)
Survivors of the Allen mall mass shooting are escorted away from the scene by police officers. (via REUTERS)

President Joe Biden implored Congress to send him a bill banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and enacting universal background checks.

“Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug,” he said in a statement. “Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

He ordered American flags at the White House, public buildings and on military bases to fly at half mast as a mark of respect to the victims.

Senator Ted Cruz said he was praying for the victims and the wider Collin County community.

“Thank you to the incredible law enforcement who put a stop to the monster who committed this act of evil.”

The shooting came one week after five family members were killed by a neighbour in Cleveland after asking him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been nearly 200 mass shootings already in 2023.

FBI asks for video of shooting

The FBI is asking for anyone with video, audio or photographic evidence of Saturday’s shooting to share it with them.

The bureau has set up a portal where evidence can be submitted anonymously.

The FBI told CNN it “was present at two locations in Dallas,” and is helping state and local police by “devoting all available resources to include investigative, intelligence, digital forensics, and victim services personnel among others.”