A gunman fatally shot at least eight people and injured seven others in a shooting at a busy mall.
The shooting took place at the Allen Premium Outlets mall, which is about 25 miles north-east of Dallas, Texas.
Dashcam video circulated online showed a gunman step out of a vehicle outside the mall and immediately starting to shoot at people on the sidewalk. More than three dozen shots could be heard as the vehicle recording the video drove off. Hundreds of shoppers fled in horror.
“He pretty much was walking down the sidewalk just … shooting his gun outside. He was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part,” an unidentified witness said of the suspect, reported ABC affiliate WFAA TV.
Blood could be seen on sidewalks outside the mall and white sheets covering what appeared to be bodies.
The suspect was later fatally shot by a police officer, Brian Harvey, who happened to be in the area, Allen’s police chief said at a press conference.
Seven people, including the shooter, died at the scene, according to Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd.
Nine victims in total were taken to area hospitals, but two of them have since died. Of the seven surviving victims, three were in critical condition as of late Saturday, and the other four were in stable condition, Boyd said.
Witnesses reported seeing children among the victims.
Authorities did not immediately release any further details about the victims.
Medical City Healthcare, which runs 16 hospitals in the area, said in a statement that its trauma centers were treating eight of the wounded victims, who ranged in age from 5 to 61.
A police officer was near the mall on an unrelated call, when he heard shots at 3:36 p.m., according to the police department.
“The officer engaged the suspect and neutralized the threat. He then called for emergency personnel,” the department said on Twitter.
The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and that the administration had offered support to local officials.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy.” He added that the state government is prepared to offer any assistance the local authorities may need.
More than 30 police cars were at the mall’s entrance, and multiple ambulances, including from several neighboring cities, were on the scene.
There were also armored trucks and other law enforcement vehicles—including from the Dallas office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—outside the mall.
“We are horrified by the senseless tragedy at Allen Premium Outlets and are outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country,” the mall said on its website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and others affected by this heinous act. We are thankful for the Allen Police Officer’s heroic actions and for the support of all the first responders.”
The City of Allen is holding a vigil to honor the victims of the shooting, on Sunday, 5 p.m., at Cottonwood Creek Church.
According to the Gun Violence Archive—which defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are injured or killed, not including the shooter—at least 198 mass shootings have occurred so far in 2023. The figure marks the most at this point in the year since at least 2016.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times