Three out of eight children killed in Texas mall shooting – while one boy was orphaned | US News

Three children are among eight people killed in Saturday’s shooting at a Texas shopping mall, with one child orphaned after the deaths of his parents and brother.

Mauricio Garcia opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets, 25 miles (40 km) north of downtown Dallas, sending shoppers running for their lives.

Kyu Song Cho, 37, and Cindy Cho, 35, died in the carnage, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A GoFundMe page and local media said their three-year-old son, James, was also killed and their other son, six-year-old William, survived and is now an orphan.

Sky’s US partner NBC News said two young sisters also died and their mother was in critical condition.

Daniela Mendoza, 11, and Sofia Mendoza, 8, were named in a letter from their school in Sachse, Texas, which called the girls “beams of sunshine.”

Security guard Christian LaCour, 23, and Aishwarya Thatikonda, a 26-year-old Indian engineer, also died, the public safety department said.

Mr. LaCour’s grandmother described him as “such a beautiful soul,” according to a Facebook post.

“He was such a beautiful soul, 20 years old with goals for his future. I was so proud of him and so happy to have seen him two weeks ago,” said Sandra Montgomery.

Officials said the eighth person killed was Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32, of Dallas.

Photo from left: Aishwarya Thatikonda and Christian LaCour
Aishwarya Thatikonda (left) and Christian LaCour died in the shooting

Garcia, 33, was filmed getting out of a vehicle in the parking lot wearing tactical gear and immediately opening fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle.

Shoppers ran for cover and some hid in shops that locked their doors to keep the gunman out.

Wetzel’s Pretzels worker Maxwell Gum said a panicked family ran inside as gunshots rang out in the background.

He took them to a delivery corridor, hoping it would be a safe place to hide, but he found chaos.

“There were probably about 300 people pouring in from all the different doors,” said the teenageradding that people were “freaking out”.

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Worker helps people escape shooting in Texas

Authorities are looking into social media accounts suggesting that Garcia was a neo-Nazi sympathizer with an interest in white supremacist ideology.

He had a “RWDS” patch on his chest when the police shot him dead, an acronym for Right Wing Death Squad.

A pistol was one of several firearms he carried. Police said the officer who ended the massacre was in the area on an unrelated call.

It also emerged that the killer was expelled from the army after just three months in 2008. An army officer, speaking anonymously, said it was due to mental health issues.

Garcia’s neighbors in Dallas said they believed he worked as a security guard, but weren’t sure where.

People pray at a makeshift memorial at the scene of the shooting.  photo: AP
People pray at a makeshift memorial at the scene of the shooting. photo: AP

Seven people were also injured in the attack.

Medical City Healthcare said on Monday that six of them were being treated at three of its hospitals.

Three were critical, two were in fair condition, and one was in good condition in a children’s hospital. A seventh injured person was taken to another hospital, police said.

The shooting comes just over a week after a a man killed five people in Cleveland, Texasafter being asked to stop firing his gun outside because a child was sleeping.

Twenty-one people, including 19 children, also died last May in Texas when a the gunman entered Robb Elementary School.

Allen Police Department officers assumed the mobile command post the day after a gunman shot multiple people at the Dallas-area Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, Texas, U.S., May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Jeremy lock
Shoppers walk away with hands raised as law enforcement responds to a shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets in the Dallas area that authorities say left several people injured in Allen, Texas, United States, on May 6, 2023 in a still image from the video.  ABC Affiliate WFAA via REUTERS NO RESALE.  NO ARCHIVE.  MANDATORY CREDIT
The buyers left the scene with their hands up

Allen’s killings were the latest in at least 199 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, according to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive.

Protesters on Monday called for tougher gun laws at the Texas Capitol, and two Republicans backed a Democratic proposal to raise the age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

However, the bill has virtually no chance of becoming law in a state where millions support liberal gun laws.

President Biden has renewed calls on Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as implement universal background checks and end immunity for gunmakers.


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