Allen Outlets Shooting: 8 victims killed, 7 injured; shooter 'neutralized'
ALLEN, Texas - Authorities responded to the Allen Premium Outlets to investigate a shooting Saturday afternoon that killed eight victims and sent others to hospitals, with a victim as young as 5 years old.
The Allen Police Department said one of its officers responded to the outlet mall for an unrelated call, when they heard gunshots just after 3:30 p.m.
That officer "engaged the suspect and neutralized the threat," police said.
The shooting suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia.
There were nine people who died, including the shooter. Seven were pronounced dead on scene, while two others died at the hospital.
The mother of 20-year-old Christian LaCour said he was one of eight victims killed. She said he worked there as a security guard and grew up in nearby Farmersville.
The Allen Fire Department transported nine victims, but others may have been transported by other agencies or driven to a hospital by friends or family.
There are three victims in critical condition and four in stable condition as of Sunday morning, police said.
A spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare said eight victims ranging from 5 to 61 years old were being treated at their facilities Saturday.
There were multiple agencies that responded to secure the scene, including the Allen Police Department, Collin County Sheriff's Office, FBI, and ATF.
Police said there is no active threat at this time, and they believe the shooter acted alone.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that the shooter had tactical gear and was "armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon."
He said he and Jill are praying for the families of the victims.
"We were outside the Converse store and we just heard all this popping," said Elaine Penicaro, who was shopping with her daughter. "We kind of all just stopped, and then a second later, just 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,' and there were sparks flying like it was right in front of us."
Penicaro said they ducked inside a store to take cover when they heard the shots.
Terrified shoppers took cover in the back of stores as police responded to the shooting.
"Got boxes to shut the door because we didn’t know where the shooter was, mayhem and panic," Abu Akther.
Akther was with his wife and 1-year-old child when he heard gunshots outside H&M.
He grabbed a woman he said was shot in the side and brought her into the store.
"That’s when she said, ‘I don’t know why I am shot. What is going on?’ And I saw blood pouring out of her stomach," Akther recalled.
"I heard at least 30 gunshots in rapid concession [sic]," one person recalled.
Investigators went through stores one by one, eventually letting shoppers exit with their hands up.
One man told FOX 4 he walked out of hiding in H&M to an unimaginable sight on the sidewalk.
"I had my headphones on and then I heard boom, boom, boom, loud shots," he said. "Bodies, like under white covers."
Hundreds of shoppers were left to watch investigators swarm the scene from across Chelsea Boulevard, waiting for loved ones to come pick them up.
"We heard what we thought were fireworks, and then people running," Sandra McKinley recalled.
McKinley and her 13-year-old son, Ryan, were huddled inside American Eagle.
"I think a lot of us were hoping, like, this isn’t really happening, you know?" she added.
The reality set in for hundreds Saturday afternoon as people embraced while being reunited.
A reunification point has been created on Chelsea Boulevard.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has video is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Authorities announced plans for those who need to retrieve their vehicle after being evacuated from the shooting scene Sunday evening.
READ MORE: Allen Premium Outlet Shooting: Leaders react to deadly shooting
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released the following statement following the shooting:
"Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy," said Governor Abbott. "I have been in contact with Mayor Fulk and DPS Director McCraw as well as other state and local leaders and offered the full support of the State of Texas to local officials to ensure all needed assistance and resources are swiftly deployed, including DPS officers, Texas Rangers, and investigative resources."
Allen Premium Outlets also released a statement after the shooting:
"We are horrified by today's senseless tragedy and outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and others affected by this heinous act. We are thankful for the police officer’s heroic actions and for the support of all the first responders."