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‘We are in shock’: Vigil held for shooting victims
Family Assistance Center to open in Allen
A center to offer people support services and crisis assistance will open in Allen on Monday in the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting, officials said.
The Family Assistance Center was scheduled to open at 10 a.m., the FBI said in a statement. The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are among those assisting in Allen.
Authorities also said they would resume efforts Monday to reunite people with their vehicles that were left at Allen Premium Outlets.
Dallas Mavericks urge fans to demand action after shooting
The Dallas Mavericks urged people Sunday to demand action from legislators on gun violence after mass shooting in Allen.
The NBA team said in a statement that it offered its support to Allen and that “we understand this is not enough.”
“As guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in America, the mass shooting that happened yesterday has become an unfortunate reality,” the Mavericks said.
“It is our duty to turn words into action to address this multifaceted and growing problem,” the team said.
The Mavs, who did not advocate for any policy in Sunday’s statement, urged people to contact federal, state and local representatives “to demand action and save lives.”
Allen is around 25 miles north of the team’s home court, American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.
Never thought it would happen here, mourner says at vigil
ALLEN, Texas — Around 100 people gathered at the Allen outlet mall Sunday for a vigil for those killed and injured in Saturday’s mass shooting.
Holding candles, they assembled at a memorial by Allen Premium Outlets.
“I never thought this would happen in Allen, Texas. We’re suburbs; we’re love. We’re Black, we’re white, Hispanic. But we’re all together," Allen community leader Cheryl Jackson, 54, said of the city of around 106,000.
A prayer vigil was also held at a church in Allen on Sunday. "Our hearts were broken yesterday," Mayor Ken Fulk said.
Vice President Harris: Americans deserve to be safe from gun violence
Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday called a Texas mall shooting that killed eight people a senseless act of violence and urged Congress to strengthen gun safety laws.
“While there is much we do not yet know about this attack, here is what we do know: all Americans deserve to be safe from gun violence. But they are not. Not because we do not know the solutions. Not because the American people are divided on this issue — even a majority of gun owners support sensible reforms,” Harris said in a statement.
President Joe Biden earlier also expressed his condolences to the victims, and he asked Congress “to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” The president also called for universal background checks and safe storage measures.
Officials investigate shooting as case of racial or ethnically motivated violent extremism
Authorities are investigating the Allen outlet mall massacre as a case of racial or ethnically motivated violent extremism, two senior law enforcement officials said Sunday.
Officials believe the suspect, Mauricio Garcia, 33, acted alone, one of the officials said.
The two law enforcement officials said a preliminary review of what are believed to be the suspect's social media accounts reveal hundreds of posts that include racially or ethnically motivated violent rhetoric, including neo-Nazi material and content espousing white supremacy.
The officials stressed that the investigation was ongoing. The preliminary review found the gunman's posts were not liked or shared by other users.
Video captures the moment the attack began
WARNING: Some viewers may find this content disturbing
Dashcam video, which police confirm is authentic, shows the moment a gunman leaves his car and opens fire on people standing outside stores at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen. The outlet mall, a popular regional attraction for residents and tourists across North Texas, as well as from neighboring states, was humming, like thousands of other malls across the U.S., on a sunny May afternoon.
Allen offering free mental health services to community
ALLEN, Texas — Mayor Ken Fulk said at a vigil Sunday night the city has set up a fund for victims and their families.
The city is also partnering with an organization called LifePath Systems to offer free mental health services to anyone in need.
"Our hearts were broken yesterday," Fulk told the people who had assembled to pay tribute to the dead, "and we are here to offer you our support."
Dallas Stars cancel playoff watch party
DALLAS — The Dallas Stars canceled a watch party that had been planned during their road playoff game Sunday night in the plaza outside their home arena, which is less than 30 miles from the mall where eight people were killed Saturday.
While Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference playoff semifinals went on as scheduled Sunday night against the Kraken in Seattle, the Stars said they opted against having the watch party outside the American Airlines Center “out of respect for the victims, families and community of Allen.”
Coach Pete DeBoer, speaking in Seattle during the team’s morning skate Sunday, said the Stars were “heartbroken.”
Allen Premium Outlets, a sprawling outdoor shopping center, is about 14 miles from the Stars’ practice facility and offices in Frisco, Texas. DeBoer, in his first season as coach, said that his family shops there and that Stars players go there, as well.
“It’s really close to home obviously, and just tragic,” DeBoer said. “Frankly, when you hear victims as young as 5 years old, you just, you get tired of hearing it. I think when you hear Sandy Hook and Parkland and Nashville, you know, unless it’s in your backyard, you compartmentalize it and put it aside. And then when it happens in your backyard, you realize, you know, the horror of it.”
PHOTOS: A memorial for the victims
Witness recalls pulling a young boy covered in blood from underneath his wounded mother
A witness who rushed to Allen Premium Outlets after he got a frantic call from his son said he found seven people with gunshot wounds outside a store.
Steven Spainhouer, a former police officer, said he began checking for pulses and pulled a young boy, covered in blood, from underneath his wounded mother.
Spainhouer said he was one of the first to arrive before police got to the scene.
“The trail of blood from where the victims were laying to the police car will stick in my head forever,” he said.
One victim died as Spainhouer performed CPR on him.
“There was nothing I could do,” he said.
Shooting suspect interacted with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online, officials say
Texas mall shooting suspect Mauricio Garcia interacted with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online, two senior law enforcement officials said.
One of the officials said Garcia, 33, posted such content himself. The other official said that the suspect consumed such rhetoric online and had several social media accounts and that authorities found him with a patch with a right-wing acronym on his chest.
It's not known what the acronym is.
NBC News hasn't seen any of the suspect’s accounts, and the officials have stressed it’s too early in the investigation to ascribe a motive.
Shooting identified as Mauricio Garcia
The suspect in Saturday’s shooting at a Dallas-area outlet mall that killed eight people and wounded a half-dozen more was identified Sunday as Mauricio Garcia, two senior law enforcement officials said.
Garcia, 33, was also killed after the outbreak of violence at Allen Premium Outlets. Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said the gunman was “neutralized” by a city police officer who was responding to an unrelated call at the mall.
One of the senior law enforcement officials said Garcia had a tactical vest and was armed with a rifle of some kind, as well as a handgun. More weapons and ammunition were found in his car, the source said.
The names of the victims in the shooting have not been released.
Six victims, three in critical condition, remain at Medical City Healthcare facilities
Six victims of the Allen Premium Outlets shooting, three of whom are in critical condition, remained at Medical City Healthcare facilities, the health care provider said in a statement.
Four of the victims were at Medical City McKinney, an acute care hospital and Level II trauma center, where three were in critical condition and one was in "fair condition," the health care provider said.
One patient was in fair condition at Medical City Children’s Hospital, and another was also listed in fair condition at Medical City Plano.
Texas mall shooting witness: ‘Mental health didn’t fire that gun’
Texas lawmakers offer condolences to victims and their families
Texas members of Congress from both sides of the aisle reacted to the shooting on social media, some of them sending prayers and others demanding change:
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted: “Heidi and I are praying for the families of the victims of the horrific mall shooting in Allen, Texas. We pray also for the broader Collin County community that’s in shock from this tragedy.
“My team is in contact with local officials, and I have offered whatever support is needed to do justice and help those in need. Thank you to the incredible law enforcement who put a stop to the monster who committed this act of evil," Cruz added.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn tweeted, “I am grieving with the Allen community tonight, and I send my gratitude to the brave @Allen_Police officers, Collin County first responders, and all of those involved in responding to this afternoon’s horrific incident.”
Republican Rep. Keith Self, who represents Allen, tweeted: “We are devastated by the tragic news of the shootings that took place at the Allen Premium Outlets today. Our prayers are with the victims and their families and all law enforcement on the scene.
"This is an ongoing situation, but Allen PD has full control of the scene. A shooter is down and there are multiple casualties. They are continuing to work to ensure the scene is safe. The public is being asked to stay away from that area while this investigation continues," Self added.
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro tweeted: “Tonight, families in Allen are waiting to hear from their loved ones after another mass shooting in Texas. As we wait for more updates, my prayers are with the community and those affected."
Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales tweeted: “More senseless violence near Dallas today. Something has to change!”
Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar tweeted: “Children’s bodies stacked on a sidewalk. A child’s face blown off. My God, what will it take for my @GOP colleagues to join us and finally act? I’m keeping the Allen community in prayers. And I also pray that my country demands change.”
FBI assisting with investigation of Allen Premium Outlets shooting
The FBI is assisting with the investigation into the Allen Premium Outlets shooting, according to a spokesperson from the agency's Dallas field office.
"FBI Dallas would like to extend our condolences to the victims as well as their families and friends who were affected by the shooting at Allen Premium Outlets," the field office said in a statement shared by spokesperson Melinda Urbina. "FBI Dallas is devoting all available resources to include investigative, intelligence, digital forensics, and victim services personnel among others."
The Texas Department of Safety is the lead agency investigating the Saturday shooting. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Allen Police Department are also assisting with the investigation.
Biden statement on Allen, Texas, shooting: 'Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar'
President Joe Biden issued a statement on the shooting that left eight victims dead, calling it "the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation."
"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," Biden said in the statement. "And yet, American communities have suffered roughly 200 mass shootings already this year, according to leading counts. More than 14,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives, credible estimates show. The leading cause of death for American kids is gun violence."
Biden asked Congress to send him a bill that would ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, enact universal background checks, require safe storage and end immunity for gun manufacturers.
"I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe," he said.
Biden also took aim at Republicans in Congress, saying they "cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug" and "tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough."
Biden has directed federal agencies to provide "all needed support" to agencies working on investigating the shooting, he added.
H&M says all Allen Premium Outlets employees are 'safe and accounted for'
H&M released a statement Sunday saying it's "extremely saddened" about the shooting at Allen Premium Outlets that affected one of its locations.
"All the H&M employees are safe and accounted for, and counseling will be available to anyone that requires," the statement read. H&M will remain closed today.
Allen outlet employee recalls shocking aftermath
Rama Bataineh was taking her lunch break when the shooting erupted.
The 20-year-old Coach employee attempted to seek shelter in her car, but it was locked. She then called her store manager, who opened a back door that she entered.
“I went inside and all the customers, all the employees, everyone was in the back sitting on the floor. Everyone was terrified,” Bataineh said.
When the shooting stopped, cops escorted the group outside, where Bataineh encountered a macabre scene.
“I saw a body, there was a guy in front of me. I didn’t sleep all night. I’d wake up and throw up,” she said.
Community prayer service to be held at Texas church
There will be a community prayer service at a church in Allen on Sunday.
The service will be held at the Cottonwood Creek Church at 5 p.m., according to a Facebook post.
The church is located about seven minutes away from Allen Premium Outlets, where a gunman opened fire on Saturday, killing at least 8 people.
What to know about the Allen Premium Outlets
The Allen Premium Outlets is a sprawling shopping center roughly 30 minutes outside Dallas. The mall encompasses 124 apparel stores as well as six chain restaurants, including Starbucks, according to a directory on the mall's website.
The outlets are owned by Simon Property Group, a large real estate investment trust that has more than 200 shopping mall properties worldwide.
The homepage of the outlet mall's website on Sunday included a message about the massacre.
"We are horrified by the senseless tragedy at Allen Premium Outlets and are outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country," said the message, written in white text against a black background.
Biden orders flags to half-staff
President Joe Biden ordered federal flags to fly at half-staff out of respect for the victims of the Allen, Texas, shooting.
Nine people, including the shooter, were killed at a Dallas-area outlet mall Saturday night. Biden called the shootings "senseless acts of violence."
Flags will be lowered to half-staff at all the United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and military and naval facilities, among other facilities abroad.
Texas congressman suggests prayers are a solution for mass shootings
Rep. Keith Self — the Republican lawmaker who represents the district that includes the Allen area — drew criticism on social media after appearing to dismiss renewed calls for gun control in the wake of the outlet mall shooting.
The people demanding gun control, rather than strictly offering thoughts and prayers, "don’t believe in an almighty God … who is absolutely in control of our lives," Self said on CNN.
“People want to make this political, but prayers are important,” he said.
The comments were widely criticized by progressive political commentators and prominent advocates for gun control measures.
Allen killings mark 7th mass shooting in Texas since Uvalde massacre
Texas has been rocked by seven mass shootings since a gunman killed 21 people at an elementary school in the city of Uvalde in May 2022, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.
In the 12 months since the Uvalde massacre, mass shootings have occurred in the Texas cities of Centerville, Houston, McGregor, Fort Worth, Dallas, Cleveland and now Allen, where a gunman opened fire Saturday at an outlet shopping mall, according to the database.
In each shooting, at least four people were killed, the data shows. The death toll in Allen is the highest since the Uvalde killings, with eight people killed.
Gov. Abbott, Sens. Cornyn and Cruz react to the bloodshed
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement late Saturday calling the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy." He said the hearts of Texans are with the people of Allen.
Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas expressed their condolences:
Cruz opposes gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons. Cornyn was the lead sponsor on a bill last year that made modest changes to federal gun control regulations. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law in June; Cruz voted against the legislation.
Witness describes sound of gunfire, sight of bodies
Fontayne Payton was browsing at the H&M clothing store in the outlet mall when he heard the piercing sound of gunshots through his headphones.
“It was so loud, it sounded like it was right outside,” Payton, 35, told The Associated Press.
Employees at the store took shoppers into fitting rooms and then a back room with a door that locked, Payton told the AP. When the group was given the all-clear to leave, he saw broken windows and blood by the entrance.
When he got outside, he saw bodies.
“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he told the AP, recalling that white towels were draped over the bodies. "It broke me when I walked out to see that.”