More details are coming to light about the mass shooting at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday, when a gunman opened fire, killing eight people and wounding seven others.
Authorities have now released the names of some of the victims while evidence suggests the gunman held far-right extremist beliefs.
The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Garcia was killed by police.
Saturday’s attack is considered to be the second-deadliest mass shooting of 2023, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
Here’s what we know about the Allen, Texas, outlet mall shooting.
The victims who were killed range in age from 3 to 37 years old
In a statement Monday afternoon, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it had positively identified the victims in Saturday’s attack.
The agency added that it will not release the identities of anyone under the age of 18 nor the victims who are injured.
The victims have been identified as:
- Kyu Song Cho, male, age 37, of Dallas
- Cindy Cho, female, age 35, of Dallas
- Female, age 11, of Sachse, Texas
- Female, age 8, of Sachse, Texas
- Male, age 3, of Dallas
- Christian LaCour, male, age 20, of Nevada, Texas
- Elio Cumana-Rivas, male, age 32, of Dallas, Texas
- Aishwarya Thatikonda, female, age 26, of McKinney, Texas
The Houston office of the South Korean Consulate told The Dallas Morning News that one of Kyu Song Cho and Cindy Cho’s children was also killed in the shooting.
The Cho family was at the mall for a day that should have been “filled with light, love and celebration but ended in tragedy,” according to a GoFundMe campaign started for the family.
Christian LaCour, a 20-year-old security guard at the mall, was described by his sister Brianna Smith as a “sweet, caring young man who was loved greatly by our family,” according to an interview with CNN.
Aishwarya Thatikonda was killed while visiting the mall with a friend, according to Dallas TV station WFAA. The 26-year-old was an engineer who lived in McKinney, Texas, while her family resides in India.
A family representative told the station her family plans to have her body sent to India for a proper burial.
More details are known about the shooter
Following the shooting, police discovered an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun at the scene after Garcia was killed, The Associated Press reported. Questions still remain about how, where and when Garcia obtained the gun used in the shooting.
On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that the gunman had been discharged from the Army for mental health reasons.
Garcia, who entered the Army in June 2008, was terminated three months later without completing his initial entry training — and was not assigned a specific job or “military occupational specialty.”
A Defense Department official told NPR that Army staff “quickly identified he was a problem.” The official did not go into detail about what the problem was.
Garcia’s most recent employment records obtained by NPR show he completed Level II training in 2017 to work with Champion National Security as a security guard.
It is unclear at this time whether he was employed as a security guard by the company.
Evidence suggests the shooter held far-right extremist beliefs
Police suspect his ideology might be linked to his motive, NPR has confirmed. While it is an ongoing investigation, evidence suggests that Garcia held far-right extremist beliefs.
At the time of his death, officials say Garcia was wearing a patch with the acronym “RWDS” — which stands for “Right Wing Death Squad.” The same patch was worn by a Proud Boys member who pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
However, NPR has not seen any evidence linking Garcia to the Proud Boys.
Social media accounts that appear to belong to Garcia showcase neo-Nazi and white supremacist views. His victims were mostly people of Korean and Indian descent.
Police say they are interviewing Garcia’s family, friends and neighbors to see what else they can learn about him and what led to the fatal attack.