ALLEN, Texas – People who were at Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday said they took shelter in stores and helped victims after a gunman opened fire, killing eight and wounding seven others.
Many who heard the shots said they were still shaken by it on Sunday.
“Back then you could hear gunshot, gunshot, gunshot, gunshot,” recalled Helen Bennett. “I thought, will it ever stop?”
Bennett and her daughter were among hundreds of shoppers fearing for their lives when a gunman, identified as Mauricio Garcia, 33, opened fire.
“It breaks my heart that innocent people have to lose their lives to a deranged person,” Bennett said. “It’s not fair, it’s not fair.”
Israel Gail’s receipt shows that she paid for her meal at 3:29. She never got to eat it, as the shooting started minutes later.
“People were crying, saying, my God, my God,” she said.
Gail said the killer was neutralized right outside the restaurant.
“God, thank you for life,” he added.
A dad of six kids buying a Mother’s Day present scrambled to find shelter.
“I was holding my sisters,” recalled 10-year-old Danna Flores.
Ernesto Garcia was among many trying to recover their cars on Sunday morning, with police promising to release a plan later in the day.
“I got a text from my wife at 3:30 that there was a shooting and they started a lockdown. Luckily, it was inside Kay’s jewelry store,” Garcia said.
Garcia said his wife couldn’t come with him.
“She’s not well,” he said. “This isn’t a war zone, we’re not trained for anything like that… I’m shaking just to be here, it could have happened to my wife, it drives me crazy.”
Artist Roberto Marquez came out to build a memorial, a large cross to represent Jesus, with eight crosses to represent the victims.
His hope is that the memorial will bring comfort to the wounded.
“They look at the cross and seek hope,” he said.