On Saturday, May 6th, in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, a gunman opened fire inside the Allen Premium Outlets mall, killing eight people and injuring seven.
The gunman was identified as Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old man who was dressed in tactical gear. According to reports, a police officer was at the mall on an unrelated call when Garcia opened fire. Hearing the sound of gunshots, the officer responded to the scene, found Garcia, and killed him.
Prior to the incident, Garcia had worked as a security guard and was living in temporary housing in the greater Dallas area. He had firearms training from the previous position and attacked the mall with an AR-15-style rifle. Police reports say multiple weapons were found in his car.
While a motive has yet to be officially announced, police authorities are currently investigating potential ties Garcia had with right-wing extremism. In addition to finding neo-Nazi and other White supremacist posts shared on Garcia’s social media, when he attacked the mall, Garcia was wearing a symbol that police think might be associated with extremists.
The victims of the outlet mall shooting range from 5 years old to 61 years old.
Following the Allen massacre, President Joe Biden released a statement on Twitter on Sunday addressing the situation and extending condolences to those affected, both victims and families. He said, “Eight Americans, including children, were killed in Allen, Texas yesterday – the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation. Jill and I are praying for their families and those critically injured. We’re grateful to the first responders who acted quickly and courageously.”
President Biden continued, “Yesterday, an assailant in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon gunned down innocent people in a shopping mall, and not for the first time. Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar. We need more action, faster to save lives.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the Allen massacre was one of 202 mass shootings that have taken place in the United States in 2023.