An armed assailant initiates a shooting at a bustling shopping center north of Dallas, resulting in a minimum of eight fatalities and leaving seven others injured.
Police report that a lone gunman has taken the lives of eight individuals and injured at least seven more at a bustling shopping center north of Dallas in the United States.
The attacker, who is thought to have acted independently, was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer on Saturday after he initiated the shooting outside the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, a suburb located to the north of Dallas in Texas, according to the police.
City Police Chief Brian Harvey stated in a press conference held earlier on Saturday that the officer “heard the gunshots, approached the source of the gunfire, confronted the suspect, and successfully neutralized the threat.”
The officer subsequently requested medical assistance. At the same press conference, Allen Fire Department Chief Jon Boyd shared that his team transported a minimum of nine individuals suffering from gunshot wounds to nearby hospitals.
Boyd reported during a second press conference on Saturday evening that two of those people succumbed to their injuries at the hospital. He also mentioned that three victims were in critical condition, while the remaining four were in stable condition.
In a written statement, Medical City Healthcare, a hospital system in the Dallas region, revealed that they were providing treatment for eight individuals, ranging in age from 5 to 61 years old.
Aerial television footage captured hundreds of individuals calmly exiting the mall, situated approximately 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Dallas, Texas, in the aftermath of the violent incident. Many raised their hands while numerous police officers maintained a vigilant presence. The video also displayed bloodstains on the sidewalks surrounding the mall and white sheets concealing what seemed to be bodies.
Fontayne Payton, aged 35, informed the Associated Press that he was inside the H&M store when he heard gunshots through the headphones he had on.
Payton mentioned that the sound was so loud, it felt as if it was happening right outside the store. Upon hearing the gunshots, people dispersed, and store employees guided them into fitting rooms and then into a lockable back room for safety. After receiving clearance to exit, Payton observed broken windows in the store and a trail of blood leading to the entrance. Abandoned sandals and blood-stained clothing were scattered nearby.
Upon stepping outside, Payton came across lifeless bodies. “I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he expressed. He described the bodies as covered in white towels and slumped over bags on the ground.
Payton shared his emotional response, saying, “It broke me when I walked out to see that.” At a greater distance, he noticed the body of a large man dressed entirely in black. Payton assumed it was the shooter since, unlike the other bodies, this one had not been covered.
An unidentified witness, who spoke to local ABC affiliate WFAA TV, recounted the gunman “walking down the sidewalk just… shooting his gun outside,” and added that “he was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part.”
The White House announced that President Joe Biden had been informed about the shooting and that the administration had extended support to local officials.
In response to the “unspeakable tragedy,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a written statement, declaring the state’s readiness to provide any necessary assistance to local authorities.
Allen, Texas, has a population of approximately 100,000 residents.
The United States continues to grapple with the prevalence of mass shootings, having experienced at least 198 such incidents in 2023. According to the Gun Violence Archive, this marks the highest number at this point in the year since at least 2016.
The nonprofit organization classifies a mass shooting as an incident where at least four individuals are injured or killed, excluding the shooter.
Among developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of gun-related fatalities, with 49,000 recorded in 2021, an increase from 45,000 in the previous year.