Law enforcement officials held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on the Allen Mall shooting.
ALLEN, Texas — The FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Allen Police held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on the Allen Mall shooting in which eight people were killed and many more they were injured.
Three or four minutes. That’s the time it took the gunman, 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, to kill eight people and injure many more before he was “neutralized” by an Allen police officer.
Officials said Garcia’s motive is still unknown, and forensic investigators are looking into all of Garcia’s digital devices, including her computer and cell phone, and her social media pages.
Tuesday’s press conference was the first time officials connected to this investigation had spoken to the media since Saturday night.
According to officials, the shooting occurred around 3:36 p.m. Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets. The Allen Police Department confirmed that an officer responding to an unrelated incident in the area heard the shots and ran towards them. The department said the officer “neutralized” the shooter and called emergency personnel.
Allen Police Department Chief Brian Harvey said the officer demonstrated “tremendous courage” and while the department has not yet released his name due to the ongoing investigation, Harvey said they have in plan to recognize him and other heroes in the mass shooting at a later date. date.
All eight victims of the shooting were identified on Monday, May 9: the Cho family, Kyu, Cindy and their 3-year-old son James; sisters, 11-year-old Daniela Mendoza and 8-year-old Sofia Mendoza; Christian LaCour, 20; and Aishwarya Thatikonda, 27; and Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32 years old.
Harvey said LaCour, a security guard who worked at the outlet during the shooting, was helping people to safety when he was shot and killed by the gunman.
At least seven other victims, including IIda, mother of the Mendoza sisters, along with William Cho, and Irvin Walker II were injured in the shooting.
Read related: Here’s what we know about the victims.
During the press conference, officials revealed that Garcia was in possession of eight weapons. Texas Department of Public Safety director Hank Sibley said they were all purchased legally.
When Garcia was shot and killed by Officer Allen, three weapons were found on his person. The other five were found inside Garcia’s car.
Sibley also praised Officer Allen who shot and killed Garcia and the response of other law enforcement agencies to the scene as “stellar”.
“Everyone did what they had to do,” Sibley said.
An FBI bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies about Garcia said that “an initial review and triage of the subject’s social media accounts revealed hundreds of posts and images that included racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist rhetoric, including neo-Nazi material and material espousing white supremacy.”
Despite his ideology, Sibley said Garcia’s motive is still unknown, but it appears he targeted the outlet and not the people who were affected. Sibley said he believes the victims were chosen at random.
Sibley confirmed the 33-year-old was a licensed security guard but said he was not working as one at the time of the shooting. He recently worked at an aluminum supplier company. An Army officer told WFAA that Garcia had been in the US Army in 2008 but was removed due to mental health issues.
When asked if there is a way to stop mass shootings by individuals who suffer from or have a history of mental illness. Sibley said it was difficult to answer, but said those people will “find a way.”
Light more about Garcia and the investigation into him here.
Sibley said Garcia had no documented criminal record. The investigation remains ongoing and officials said there is no indication that Garcia had “partners” or anyone working with him to carry out the crime.
Chief Harvey said his department, the FBI and DPS are all working together to make sure victims are connected to mental health and counseling services and encouraged anyone who would like to help donate to visit here.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough said as of Monday, May 9, 30 families, including more than 100 individuals, had received support so far. He also said 1,100 vehicles were recovered from the outlet after the shooting.
Yarbrough is asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or who still needs to collect their belongings to meet at the Allen Senior Recreation Center at 451 St. Mary Drive. The building will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday 10 May from 10:00 to 19:00