On Saturday, a shooting at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas left eight people dead and seven others injured. Officials confirmed that the gunman acted alone and was also killed.
According to Allen, Texas Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd, nine people were transported to hospitals, and two have since died. Three others are in critical surgery, while four are stable.
A medical group in the Dallas area reported that they were treating victims as young as five years old.
Police responded to the shooting at Allen Premium Outlets, causing shoppers and employees to hide for their safety. At one point, there was a search for a second gunman, but the police later confirmed that the shooter acted alone. An Allen officer killed the shooter.
Video footage from above the scene showed hundreds of shoppers leaving the area, many with their hands up. Aerial footage revealed at least three bodies covered by sheets outside the mall.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey described how the shooter was killed. “One of our officers was on an unrelated call at the outlet mall,” said Harvey. “He heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect, and neutralized the suspect.”
Witnesses reported seeing the gunman dressed in all black and tactical gear. A photo obtained after the incident showed the body of the gunman on the ground outside a restaurant location at the mall. The shooter appeared to be wearing body armor with several extra magazines attached to chest gear and had an AR-15 style weapon nearby.
The police have identified the deceased suspect’s vehicle, which is being examined by the bomb squad as a precaution.
The mass shooting in Allen is one of the many incidents of gun violence that have taken place in the United States. The nation has witnessed a series of attacks that have brought terror to supermarkets, schools, hospitals, and other places considered safe. This incident occurred just days after a gunman shot and killed at least one person with a handgun at an Atlanta medical facility, injuring four others before being apprehended hours later.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, this attack is one of at least 199 mass shootings this year in the US that have resulted in four or more people being shot, excluding the gunman.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the attack an “unspeakable tragedy,” expressing his condolences to the people of Allen. The City of Allen also shared their sympathies, tweeting, “Our hearts are with the individuals and families impacted by this tragic event.”
Representative Keith Self, whose congressional district includes Allen, praised the quick response of law enforcement, stating that the shooting could have been worse if not for their swift actions.
Shoppers and employees hid in storage areas upon hearing gunshots. Witnesses reported that some people sheltered in place for up to two hours as law enforcement cleared the area.
One witness saw a man holding his neck, with blood dripping down. Another individual, Jaynal Pervez, arrived at the mall after receiving a call from his daughter, who was inside during the shooting. He recounted, “We saw the police outside the door, and they told us we had to go, and that they are still looking for the person. There’s no more safe places. I don’t know what to do.”
Tony Wright, a resident whose home is near the outlet mall, initially thought the gunshots were construction noises. His family called him soon after, “freaking out,” and saying they heard gunfire. Wright and his family locked their doors and waited until it was safe to leave.
This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.