Texas mall shooting: Heavily armed gunman identified as 33 year old

Allen Police remained on the scene at the mall on Sunday

Texas authorities have named a heavily armed gunman who killed eight people including children at a Dallas shopping mall as Mauricio Garcia, aged 33.

The man, from Dallas himself, was shot dead by a police officer who was attending a different call in the area.

The gunman in Saturday’s attack used an AR-15 style rifle and wore combat gear, President Joe Biden said.

Investigators quoted by US media say he may have had far-right links, as suggested by a clothing patch he wore.

Two sources told CBS News – the BBC’s US partner – that the patch bore the letters RWDS, standing for “Right Wing Death Squad” – believed to be a neo-Nazi group.

Police searched a nearby hotel where Garcia was staying, as well as a home in the city, reports say. He opened fire on shoppers at the Allen Premium Outlets mall, in the north Dallas suburbs.

At least three injured victims remained in critical condition on Sunday.

Garcia also had a handgun, and more weapons and ammunition were found in his car, an investigator said.

A law-enforcement source told CBS that he used an assault weapon to gun down his victims and multiple rounds of ammunition were found on his person. He was wearing armoured ballistic gear.

Investigators are combing through social media and online accounts looking for clues as to whether he may have had links to domestic violent extremists and like-minded individuals.

Allen mall memorial, 7 May 23
Image caption, Mourners have set up a memorial for the shooting victims at the Allen mall

President Biden called for a ban on such assault rifles earlier on Sunday, lamenting what he called “the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation”.

Confirming that children had been killed in the attack, the president said that “too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables” – and called once again on his political opponents in the Republican party to support tougher gun controls.

Garcia was reportedly working as a security guard at the time of the shooting and did not have a serious criminal record.

Warning: You may find descriptions below upsetting

Footage seemed to show the suspect stepping out of his vehicle in the mall car park, and opening fire on people walking nearby without warning.

https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.49.2/iframe.htmlMedia caption, 

Watch: Gunfire heard as people flee Texas mall

One woman working in the mall said the first she knew about the attack was a customer approaching her and warning: “You all need to close the doors.” 

“I was confused. Next thing you know, we hear gunshots… all you hear is like 50, 60 gunshots,” she said.

“We kept our calm as best that we could, tried to keep our customers calm… we shut the door, everything is closed. Nobody can buy anything. We’re all hiding in the back.”

Another witness, Elaine Penicaro, said she was finishing her shopping trip when she heard “all this popping”.

“So we kind of just all just stopped. But then a second later, like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And we saw sparks flying like it was right in front of us,” she said. “So we just ran into the Converse store. They locked the door. We all hunkered down in the back – and that’s where we stayed.”

Speaking to CBS, Steven Spainhouer described how he rushed to the scene after getting a call from his son who reported shooting. He spoke of “unfathomable carnage”.


He said at least three victims could not be saved even after he applied CPR. “The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes,” he recalled. “So I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side, and she had no face.”

He helped a boy who was under his mother’s dead body. “When I rolled the mother over, he came out. I asked him if he was OK and he said, ‘My mom is hurt, my mom is hurt’. So, rather than traumatise him any more, I pulled him around the corner sat him down.” The boy was “covered from head to toe” in blood, Mr Spainhouer said.

President Biden has ordered the US flag to be flown at half-mast on federal buildings. His call for tighter gun controls, however, was seen differently by Texas’ Republican governor Gregg Abbott.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, he said his aim was to target the possession of weapons by criminals and deal with a rising mental health crisis, rather than consider wider bans. 

“This is something that we have been grappling with over the past year, and there are some potential easy solutions such as passing laws, that we’re working on right now, to get guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and to increase penalties for criminals to possess guns,” he said.

“One thing that we can observe very easily and that is there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that’s taking place in America. And what Texas is doing in a big-time way, we are working to address that anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health problems behind it.”

Invest or Donate towards HICGI New Agency Global Media Establishment – Watch video here

Email: editorial@hicginewsagency.com TalkBusiness@hicginewsagency.com WhatsApp +256713137566

Invest or Donate towards HICGI New Agency Global Media Estab lishment – Watch video here

Follow us on Social Media , just type “HICGI News Agency”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s