Nine people died Saturday in a shooting at a shopping center near Dallas, Texas, local authorities said at a press conference Sunday night. At least seven other people were injured, three of them in critical condition. Among the dead is the man who attacked. The motive of his act is not yet known.
Photo: SITA/AP, LM Otero
People with their hands raised leave a mall after reports of a shooting, Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Allen, Texas.
The shooting took place in a shopping center in the city of Allen, which is located approximately 40 kilometers northeast of Dallas. The man got out of the car and started shooting at passers-by. “He was walking down the sidewalk … and he was shooting a gun,” one of the witnesses to the shooting told WFAA TV about the attacker who opened fire before 3:40 p.m. local time (10:40 p.m. CEST).
According to witnesses, the gunman fired dozens of shots before he was “neutralized” by a police officer who was initially on the scene for another case. The identity of the attacker was not disclosed by the police.
She did not specify the identity of the victims either. But witnesses told the AP agency that there were children among them. Seven people, including the shooter, remained dead at the scene after the shooting. Nine injured were taken to hospitals by paramedics, but two of them were later declared dead by doctors. Hospitals in the Dallas area said they were treating people between the ages of five and 61.
“We had just walked in a few minutes earlier when we heard a loud bang,” shopper Mary Ann Greene told the AP. “I asked, ‘Was that a shooting?'” she described the situation. The employees of the store she and her husband were in immediately pulled down the security shutter and took all the customers to the back of the area, where they waited for the police to arrive.
Footage from the crime scene showed people fleeing the mall at the sound of gunfire, as well as several bodies covered with white sheets.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who opposes gun control laws, called the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy” and offered local authorities all the help they need. US President Joe Biden is also informed about the situation.
Allen is a suburb of Dallas and has over 100,000 residents.
Reuters reported that mass shootings have become commonplace in the US. Since the beginning of this year alone, there have been 199, the most for the same period since 2016. The non-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, whose numbers the agency cites, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are injured or killed, not including the shooter.