Residents and authorities in a Dallas suburb have begun to provide an update on Saturday’s 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 being killed by a policeman. The shooting happened at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas, and turned a busy afternoon of shopping into chaos. Here’s what we know about what happened.
The gunfire erupted around 3:30 p.m. local time, police said, as crowds of shoppers filled the outdoor mall, which has more than 120 stores.
Video posted to social media appears to show a person dressed in black getting out of a silver car in a parking lot and opening fire.
Other videos circulating on social media show people seeking shelter or running through a parking lot, while loud bangs are heard in the background.
So far, authorities have not officially released the name of the shooter or the motive for the shooting, but a federal law enforcement official on Sunday identified the shooter as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia.
According to two law enforcement officials, the shooter may have espoused a white supremacist ideology, but it is not yet clear whether this was an act of domestic terrorism.
The shooter acted alone, authorities said. A police officer who was in the mall on an unrelated mission heard the gunshots, rushed towards the shooter and killed him.
The police have not yet identified this officer.
Nine people, including the shooter, were pronounced dead, police said.
Among the hospitalized victims, three are in critical condition and four are in stable condition.
A spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare, which treats victims at its three trauma centers, said the injured range in age from 5 to 61.
The victims have not been publicly identified.
In a statement on Sunday, President Joe Biden said an unknown number of children were among the victims.
Geoffrey Keaton was eating with his 16-year-old daughter at the mall’s Fatburger when they heard gunshots.
“I put my daughter under the counter to protect her, and then the gunfire intensified, like he was right there,” Geoffrey Keaton said.
Her daughter explained that the restaurant manager allowed customers to hide in the back, from where they then exited through a door to run to their car.
A live broadcast from a local TV channel (Fox) showed dozens of customers being evacuated from stores in order.
“It was a little chaotic for a second,” said Kaleo Palakiko, 36. “When someone said ‘shooter’, we all ran to the back of the store. »
Kaleo Palakiko and his parents hid in a storage room for about 45 minutes before being freed by the police and coming out with their hands up.
Saturday’s attack is the second deadliest shooting of the year after the massacre in Monterey Park, Calif., on January 21, in which a gunman killed 11 people in a ballroom.
According to Gun Violence Archive, a database of shootings in the United States, there were 199 “mass shootings” (which the archives define as the death of at least four people) in 2023.
Last weekend, a gunman killed five people in Cleveland, Texas, after neighbors asked him to stop shooting in his yard. He was captured after several days of searching.
Last Monday, a registered sex offender shot and killed six people, including his wife and three of his children, near Tulsa, Oklahoma, before turning the gun on himself.
Last Wednesday, a gunman opened fire at a doctor’s office in Atlanta, killing one person and injuring four others. Here too, searches were carried out before the suspect was arrested.