Eight People Killed, Others Injured In Mass Shooting At Shopping Mall In Texas

Eight People Killed &Others Injured In Mass Shooting At Shopping Mall In Texas

A gunman has shot and killed eight people, and wounded at least seven others at a busy shopping mall north of the city of Dallas in the United States, according to police.

The assailant, whom authorities believe acted alone, was fatally shot by a police officer on Saturday after he began firing outside of the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, a suburb north of Dallas in the state of Texas, the police said.

“He heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect and neutralised the suspect,” the city’s police chief Brian Harvey said at a press conference earlier on Saturday.

“He also then called for ambulances.”

Allen fire department chief Jon Boyd told the same press conference that his department took at least nine victims with gunshot wounds to area hospitals.

Two of those people died at the hospital, Boyd said at a second press conference on Saturday night.

Three of the victims were in critical condition, and four others were stable, he added.

Medical City Healthcare, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement it was treating eight people between the ages of 5 and 61.

TV aerial images showed hundreds of people calmly walking out of the mall, located about 40 km(25 miles) northeast of Dallas, Texas, after the violence unfolded, many with their hands up as dozens of police stood guard.

The footage also showed blood on sidewalks outside the mall and white sheets covering what appeared to be bodies.

Fontayne Payton, 35, told the Associated Press news agency that he was at the H&M store when he heard the sound of gunshots through the headphones he was wearing.

“It was so loud, it sounded like it was right outside,” Payton said.

People in the store scattered before employees ushered the group into the fitting rooms and then a lockable back room, he said. When they were given the all-clear to leave, Payton saw the store had broken windows and a trail of blood to the door. Discarded sandals and bloodied clothes were laying nearby.

Once outside, Payton saw bodies.

“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said. The bodies were covered in white towels, slumped over bags on the ground, he said.

“It broke me when I walked out to see that,” he said.

Further away, he saw the body of a heavyset man wearing all black. He assumed it was the gunman, Payton said, because, unlike the other bodies, it had not been covered up.

A second unidentified witness told local ABC affiliate WFAA TV that the gunman was “walking down the sidewalk just … shooting his gun outside,” and that “he was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part”.

The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and that the administration had offered support to local officials.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, calling the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy,” said in a written statement that the state was also prepared to offer any assistance local authorities may need.

Allen, Texas, is a community of about 100,000 people.

Mass shootings have become commonplace in the US, with at least 198 so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the gunman.

The US has the highest rate of gun deaths of any developed country, with 49,000 recorded in 2021, up from 45,000 the year before.

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