Nine people were killed and several others injured in a shooting at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas on Saturday. The gunman, who stepped out of a silver sedan, opened fire on shoppers, sending hundreds of people running in panic. Witnesses reported seeing multiple victims, including children, as well as a police officer and a mall security guard who appeared to be unconscious on the ground.
According to Allen Police, nine victims were taken to hospitals, with eight of them being treated at the Dallas-area hospital system Medical City Healthcare. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 61 years old. A dashcam video that circulated online showed the gunman stepping out of his vehicle outside the mall and immediately firing shots at people on the sidewalk. More than three dozen shots could be heard in the video.
An Allen Police officer, who was in the area on an unrelated call, heard the shots at 3:36 p.m. and engaged the suspect, neutralizing the threat. The officer then called for emergency personnel, and the victims were transported to local hospitals by the Allen Fire Department. The agency confirmed in a Facebook post that there is no longer an active threat.
The incident is the latest in a string of mass shootings that have plagued the United States this year. According to an analysis of AP/USA Today data, there has been an average of about one mass killing per week in the country in 2023. The White House has confirmed that President Biden has been briefed on the shooting and has offered support to local officials. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has signed laws easing firearms restrictions in the past, called the incident an “unspeakable tragedy.”
Eyewitness accounts describe the chaos and horror of the shooting. Fontayne Payton, who was at H&M when the shooting began, said that the sound of gunshots was so loud that it sounded like it was right outside. People in the store scattered before employees ushered them into the fitting rooms and then a lockable back room. 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.
Payton also saw bodies outside, and he said that he prayed that they weren’t children, but they appeared to be. The bodies were covered in white towels and slumped over bags on the ground. Tarakram Nunna and Ramakrishna Mullapudi also reported seeing three people lying motionless on the ground, including what appeared to be a police officer and a mall security guard.
Sharkie Mouli, who was in a Banana Republic store during the shooting, said that he saw what appeared to be an unconscious police officer lying next to another unconscious person outside the outlet store. “I have seen his gun lying right next to him and a guy who is like passing out right next to him,” Mouli said.
Stan and Mary Ann Greene, who were browsing in the Columbia sportswear store when the shooting started, described hearing loud popping sounds and then employees immediately rolling down the security gate and bringing everyone to the rear of the store until police arrived and escorted them out.
Eber Romero, who was at the Under Armour store when a cashier mentioned that there was a shooting, said that he saw broken glass and people who had been shot on the floor as he was leaving the mall.
Video shared on social media showed people running through a parking lot while gunfire could be heard. More than 30 police cruisers with lights flashing were blocking an entrance to the mall, with multiple ambulances on the scene. An aerial broadcast from a news station showed armored trucks and other law enforcement vehicles stationed outside the sprawling outdoor mall. Ambulances from several neighboring cities responded to the scene, as did the Dallas office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.