A gunman opened fire at a crowded mall outside Dallas on Saturday, killing at least eight people and injuring at least seven, authorities said, in a chaotic and tragic scene on a busy afternoon of shopping. Changed
At a news conference Saturday night, Brian E. Harvey, the police chief in Allen, Texas, did not immediately identify a gunman but said the man had acted alone. Chief Harvey said a police officer, who was on an unrelated errand at the mall at the time of the shooting, heard the gunshots, ran to the side, and killed the gunman.
A spokeswoman for Medical City Healthcare, which was treating many of the victims at three trauma facilities, said the injured ranged in age from 5 to 61.
The shots rang out around 3:30 p.m. at Allen Premium Outlets as shoppers flocked to the outdoor mall, which is about 25 miles north of Dallas and has more than 120 stores. Videos going viral on social media Show people running for shelter or running through a parking lot as loud popping sounds can be heard in the background.
Seven people, including the gunman, were pronounced dead at the mall. Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said officers could account for at least nine people who were taken to hospitals, but more victims may have been taken in private vehicles. Two of them later died. The condition of three is serious and the condition of four is stable.
this was the latest attack in Deadly spate of mass shootings In the last week alone.
last weekend, A gunman killed five people in Cleveland, Texasafter neighbors asked him to stop shooting in his yard, ended a multiday manhunt,
On Monday, a registered sex offender shot six peopleincluding his wife and his three children, near Tulsa, Okla., before turning the gun on himself.
on Wednesday, A gunman fired into a medical office building In Atlanta, one person was killed and four others were injured. That too lasted till the manhunt before the suspect was apprehended.
In Allen, Texas, witnesses described a familiar scene of commotion after gunfire erupted around 3:30 p.m. local time.
Geoffrey Keaton was having lunch at Fatburger in the outlet mall with his 16-year-old daughter when he heard gunshots.
“I knew right away,” said Mr. Keaton. “I put my baby girl under the counter to save her, and then they rumbled like she was right there.”
Mr Keaton said the restaurant’s manager allowed customers to hide in the back, where they were able to exit through the back door and run to their cars.
“You can see the bodies of the people he shot on the sidewalk,” Mr. Keaton said.
A livestream from a local Fox television affiliate showed large numbers of shoppers leaving stores such as H&M, Michael Kors, American Eagle and K Jewelers in an orderly manner.
Kaleo Palakiko, 36, was shopping with his parents for the upcoming holidays at a Tory Burch store when he saw people running outside.
“It was just chaotic for a second. Then when someone called ‘shooter,’ we all ran to the back of the store,” Mr. Palaccio said. “As Americans, we’re used to it, because everyone knew exactly what to do.”
Mr Palcicco and his parents hid in a storeroom for about 45 minutes before police released them and walked outside waving their hands in the air. Mr Palchiko said he passed by shops with broken window panes.
Brayson Jones, 17, had arrived early for his shift at the Champs Sports Outlet store and was sitting in his car when he heard “probably more than 20 shots” and saw people running out of the store, he said.
Mr Jones said a stranger ran up to their car and asked them to get in, and then the two left.
“As soon as I heard shots and people shouting, I didn’t wait to see what was happening, I turned back and left,” he said.
Four hours after the shooting, police began allowing some people to remove their cars that had been left behind at the outlet. Others will have to wait till tomorrow.
Concern was also expressed about the strong storm in the area. The Red Cross was helping those who had no way to go back home. Others were slowly being reunited with loved ones, who walked to a nearby gas station, stuffed strollers and shopping bags into cars and shared hugs before driving away.
Representative Keith Self, who represents Allen, Texas, said on CNN that critics who are calling for more than “thoughts and prayers” after Saturday’s shooting “do not believe in an almighty God who is in control of our lives”. and instead blamed the lack of “mental health institutions” in said country.
He said, “Actually I want to stay away from politics today because I want to focus on the victims, today we should focus on the families.” “Prayers are important and they are important in the families that have just been devastated.”
In a statement, Chris Brown, president of the gun violence prevention organization Brady, noted a long list of shootings in one short week.
“A house, a doctor’s office, and now a mall,” he said. Our reality is until and unless America mends its relationship with guns and our lawmakers ultimately answer to the American people, not the gun lobby.