Allen, TX – Eight people were murdered and at least seven more were wounded in a mass shooting at a Texas outlet mall on Saturday.
Six victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and two more died at local hospitals, The Washington Post reported.
Allen police said in an update on Sunday morning at least three victims remained in critical condition and four remained in fair condition.
The victims all ranged in age from five to 61 years old, CNN reported.
Investigators have not released a motive but said they are working to determine whether the suspect was inspired by neo-Nazi or white-supremacist ideology, The Washington Post reported.
He has been identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia.
The horrific attack occurred at the Allen Premium Outlets shortly after 3:30 p.m. on May 6, CBS News reported.
“When the multiple shots happened, my heart just dropped,” Steven Spainhouer told CBS News. “I was on the phone with 911 and I was telling them we have a mass casualty incident.”
Spainhouer said he ran into the shopping center after his son, who works at the H&M store in the mall, called him to tell him someone was shooting outside.
The Army veteran and former law enforcement officer said he arrived at the scene prior to any of the first responders and immediately jumped into action, The Washington Post reported.
“I never imagined in 100 years I would be thrust into the position of being the first first responder on the site to take care of people,” Spainhouer told CBS News. “The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes, so I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side and she had no face.”
🚨#UPDATE: Video from Fox 4 shows multiple people being evacuated being walked by approximately 4 bodies covered in blood in white sheets outside of H&M following the active shooter that took place a while ago at Allen outlets mall pic.twitter.com/CBklCmSQrJ
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) May 6, 2023
He then came upon the body of a woman who’d been killed and found her child alive beneath her, CBS News reported.
She had died while protecting him, Spainhouer said.
“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 traumatize him, I pulled him around the corner sat him down and he was covered from head to toe… like somebody poured blood on him,” he told CBS News.
Witnesses said at least one of the wounded victims was a child.
“I saw moms and dads covering the eyes of their kids in tears, kids holding their hands up, people running for their lives,” Spainhouer told CNN.
He said he began performing chest compressions on yet another victim, but that the wounded man died after coughing up blood.
Colin Palakiko said he was shopping at the mall when the attack occurred, The Washington Post reported.
Palakiko said he saw a person in a white uniform lying face-down on the ground with a gunshot wound to the front of his body, according to The Washington Post.
He said he believed the victim was a mall security guard.
The gunman was wearing a tactical vest packed with ammunition, according to The Washington Post.
Investigators said he had a patch on his chest that read “RWDS,” which stands for the Right Wing Death Squad.
The phrase is popular with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and right-wing extremists, The Washington Post reported.
Investigators said they are looking into whether Garcia had any connection with cartel members or prison gangs, CBS News reported.
Accusations he was a foreign national and with tattoos indicating potential gang or cartel involvement have been swirling on social media.
🚨 BREAKING: Allen, TX shooter that killed 9 and injured 7 at a shopping mall identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia.
The victims range from 5 to 61 years old.
Reports of the shooter have been circulating that the shooter was an illegal immigrant, but I CANNOT confirm this pic.twitter.com/txGfZed3Uq
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) May 7, 2023
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said an officer from his department was handling an unrelated matter at the mall when the attack unfolded.
“One of our officers was on an unrelated call at the outlet mall,” Chief Harvey said, according to CNN. “He heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect, and neutralized the suspect.”
The heroic officer ultimately shot and killed Garcia, ending the massacre.
Sources said the shooter was carrying multiple firearms and had five more guns in his car, The Washington Post reported.
The Allen Police Department (APD) said the Texas Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation with the assistance of the APD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Texas Rangers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“We ask for your continued prayers for the victims and families impacted by this tragic event,” the APD said.
#Breaking multiple sources tell me the Allen Outlet mall shooter’s name is Mauricio Garcia. He was 33. A house that was raided in Dallas overnight was his parents. Sources tell me he was living in a motel. He had no serious criminal record and was working as a security guard pic.twitter.com/tTk138GmxM
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) May 7, 2023
Police began assisting people with retrieving their vehicles from the mall parking lot on Sunday, The Washington Post reported.
Having to watch this #AmericanCarnage terrorize every aspect of our daily lives is infuriating.
Today it happens to be #ALLEN Texas, Tomorrow it may be your community.
Get off the sidelines of history, and become part of the solution. #Vote pic.twitter.com/KojJjCMTlF
— Joseph Sakran 🟧 (@JosephSakran) May 6, 2023
Kevin Todd, a neighbor of Garcia’s parents, described the shooter as a quiet person who did not seem to cause any problems, according to the news outlet.
Neighbors said Garcia had just moved out of his parents’ residence earlier this year.
“He just seemed to be aloof, kind of disconnected,” Todd told The Washington Post. “But he wasn’t threatening.”
DPS said Garcia worked for at least three security companies in the past and received many hours of firearms training in recent years, CNN reported.
His security guard license was valid in Texas from April of 2016 until April of 2020.