WYLIE (CBSNewsTexas) – Two children, fourth grader Daniela Mendoza and her sister, second grader Sofia, were killed in Saturday’s mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets, Wylie ISD confirmed.
Their mother, Ilda, remains in critical condition.
Both sisters took cheerleading lessons at Wylie Elite. The gym shared their grief on Facebook, posting:
The Allen Outlet tragedy has affected our gym in a personal way. Two of the victims who were sisters and who lost their lives this past weekend, not only took classes at Wylie Elite, but are grandchildren of one of our team’s families. Our hearts are broken for these families. They shared that one of their favorite colors was yellow. To honor these young women, we want everyone to wear yellow this week. Please also pray for all affected families.
Daniela and Sofia’s principal, Krista Wilson, described them as “beams of sunshine.”
The district sent a letter to parents and students detailing the “excruciating situation” that has hit one of its elementary campuses.
“Words cannot express the sadness we feel as we mourn the loss of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mendoza family, the families of the victims and all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
A crisis team is present at Cheri Cox Elementary School, which both Daniela and Sofia attend. However, the school has said it will not announce the girls’ deaths to students, leaving the conversation to parents.
A GoFundMe was set up by the girls’ aunt to support the family. She says there is a void that nothing in the world could ever fill after the loss of the girls.
“With heavy hearts, we share the passing of our beautiful Daniel and Sofia. They were tragically taken from us by a senseless act on May 6, 2023. Their mum is currently still hospitalised. We want to thank everyone who reached out and offering their support and assistance. Please pray for our broken family. The girls have left a void that nothing in the world can ever fill. Please pray for their mom, my sister and her broken heart. Please pray also for their dad, who despite all the trauma he has had to endure, is still incredibly strong. They will be missed and loved forever.”
Daniela and Sofia weren’t the youngest victims of the shooting. Three-year-old James Cho, his mother Cindy and father Kyu were also killed. James’ six-year-old brother survived the shooting, according to officials.
Here are a couple resources for parents:
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, Allen marked the 242nd mass shooting in the United States this year. Eight victims were killed and seven remain hospitalized. Their ages range from 5 to 61 years.
Medical City Healthcare said it continued to treat six patients at three hospitals since the shooting. Three are in critical condition, two patients are in fair condition, and one patient is in good condition.
The FBI is now assisting the Allen Police Department with this investigation and is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.