A gunman opened fire on innocent shoppers at an outlet mall outside of Dallas, Texas, marking another horrific mass shooting in the state.
According to reports, on Saturday (May 6), a gunman dressed in black exited a silver car in a parking lot at the Allen Premium Outlets shopping center. The outlet is in the suburb of Allen, 25 miles north of Dallas.
He began firing at people on the sidewalk at approximately 3:30 p.m. Social media videos captured shoppers fleeing for their lives as the shooting began. The gunman, Mauricio Garcia, was soon shot and killed by a local police officer who responded to the scene on another call and spotted the shooter.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said that seven people, including Garcia, were declared dead at the scene and two more died at the hospital. Three others were undergoing critical surgery that evening, with four in stable condition.
A source said that the ages of those injured ranged from 5 to 61. President Joe Biden said in a statement on Sunday (May 7) that unspecified children were killed. He went on to demand action from Congress on bills requiring universal background checks and other gun control measures.
The Texas Department of Public Safety identified Garcia as the shooter on Sunday. They noted that the 33-year-old was a resident of Dallas.
Two law enforcement officials did state that he had expressed white supremacist ideology in the past, noting that he wore a patch that read “rdws” or “right-wing death squad,” which is favored by the far-right. However, they stopped short of saying the shooting was an act of domestic terrorism.
The Allen shooting marks a disturbing week of mass shooting incidents across the country. It comes days before the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott said he communicated with Allen Mayor Ken Funk and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw to offer “full support.”
Representative Keith Self, a Republican who represents the area, told CNN that critics who knock the commonplace GOP response of “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of these mass shootings don’t believe in almighty God, who is absolutely in control of our lives.”
Texas Democratic Senator Roland Gutierrez tweeted on Saturday after an appearance on MSNBC: “There is a special place in hell for people who watch all this happen and choose to do nothing. #bloodontheirhands“
Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty