The tense moments in the minutes between a gunman who opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets and a police officer who shot him dead were captured in a dispatch recording showing the officer shouting for backup as he approaches to the gunman.
Shortly after 3:30 pm Saturday, an Allen police officer was responding to a call unrelated to the outlet when he heard gunshots. The sprawling open-air mall has around 120 shops.
“We fired shots at the outlet,” the unnamed officer tells a supervisor.
The dispatcher repeats his call for other authorities on the channel.
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“Received, shots fired at the outlet,” the dispatcher is heard saying.
Seconds later, the officer describes seeing people running, and another officer says he’s on his way from the local In-n-Out Burger, less than a mile away.
“… at Polo Ralph Lauren, moving house. I’m trying to get to it,” the initial officer said.[There’s] i’m still shooting.
A video circulating on social media showed the gunman exiting his vehicle and opening fire outside H&M, which is adjacent to Polo Ralph Lauren.
The initial officer says on the recording that he is moving towards the gunman and trying to reach him, his voice wheezing as he speaks. A minute after he reports the shooting, the gunman is still shooting, he says.
The dispatchers then say they received another call to the outlet and the officer returns to the channel. He yells for reinforcements.
“I need everyone I have!” says the officer.
It’s unclear what he says next, but a receptionist tells him he got his message. The officer then says he’s at Tommy Hilfiger’s on the north side of the mall and doesn’t know where the gunman is. He still hears shots.
About a minute and a half later, it’s back on the channel. He’s approaching the gunman, he tells the operator.
His words are hard to discern right after. Four minutes after first reporting hearing gunshots, her last words to him on the recording are “watch your fire.” It’s unclear if this was the moment she eliminated the gunman.
Shortly after 4pm, a law enforcement officer in another cable recording claims he spoke to Allen police who confirmed “the killer is down.” The officer killed the gunman within three to four minutes of the first shots, Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said during a Tuesday briefing. The suspect was identified as Mauricio Garcia, 33.
“If it hadn’t been there,” said Hank Sibley, North Texas regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. “I think we would have had a much more serious situation.”
Eight people were killed in the shooting at the outlet and seven others were injured. Four of the deceased were of Asian descent.
The victims killed on Saturday were identified as Cho Kyu Song, 37; Kang Shin Young, 35; James Cho, age 3; Daniela Mendoza, 11 years old; Sofia Mendoza, 8 years old; Christian LaCour, 20; Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32 years old; and Aishwarya Thatikonda, 26.
Seven people were reported dead at the scene, including the gunman, and two others died in hospital.
The community mourned the victims Sunday, with churches in Dallas-Fort Worth hosting services to remember the lives of the lost.
Authorities briefed the public on Tuesday about the shooting at Allen City Hall for the first time, saying the gunman took eight legally purchased guns with him to the mall.
They said the gunman had three handguns with him and five were in his vehicle, but shared no further information.
Sibley said Tuesday that determining the gunman’s motive is a focus of the investigation. Garcia’s social media posts revealed his Nazi sympathies and adoration of mass shootings.
Zach Horn, an attorney for the police officer who shot Garcia, gave a statement to WFAA-TV (Channel 8).
“The officer sprinted towards high-powered rifle fire as everyone else fled,” Horn wrote in the statement. “He is a brave servant with a kind heart who embodies the best that the law enforcement profession has to offer.”
Staff writers Jamie Landers, Kelli Smith and Isabella Volmert contributed to this report.