9 dead and 3 in critical condition after mass shooting at Texas outlet mall

Dennis Romero
Emergency personnel work the scene of a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on May 6, 2023 in Allen, Texas.
Stewart F. House | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Nine people, including the suspect, were killed Saturday at a Dallas-area outlet mall, authorities said, in a shooting that sent shoppers into a panic as they fled for their lives.

Seven people died at Allen Premium Outlets and two more were pronounced dead at a hospital, Allen Fire Department Chief Jonathan Boyd said.

Among those who were injured, three remained in critical condition Saturday night and four had been stabilized, he said.

Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said earlier Saturday that the suspected shooter was "neutralized" by a city police officer who was responding to an unrelated call at the mall.

The name of the suspect was not immediately released, nor were the names of the victims. Janet St. James, a spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare, a North Texas health care provider, said it received eight patients from the shooting who ranged in age from 5 to 61.

The shooting happened during a busy afternoon at the outdoor mall, which is about 30 miles north of Dallas.

Officials said law enforcement responded to reports of an "active shooter" at 3:36 p.m. on Saturday.

Video taken by witness Denison De Souza from the parking lot showed people taking cover and others running into traffic as the sound of nearly a dozen distinct shots could be heard. Other videos posted to social media showed similar scenes.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, the White House said in a statement late Saturday night. The White House was "closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with law enforcement, and local officials to offer support," the statement added.

There was very little information made publicly available on the suspect.

Speaking at an early evening news conference, Harvey said, "We believe he acted alone and we don't believe that there's another threat at this time."

A member for the Allen SWAT team returns to the parking lot near the scene of a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on May 6, 2023 in Allen, Texas.
Stewart F. House | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Responding law enforcement officers helped shoppers evacuate and cleared each retailer to ensure no dangers remained, according to witness accounts.

Multiple mall shoppers and employees said they heard gunfire and took cover where they could before running out or barricading themselves in back rooms.

Stan and Mary Ann Greene were browsing in the Columbia sportswear store when the shooting started.

"We had just gotten in, just a couple minutes earlier, and we just heard a lot of loud popping," Mary Ann Greene told The Associated Press.

Employees immediately rolled down the security gate and brought everyone to the rear of the store until police arrived and escorted them out, the Greenes said.

Several witnesses reported seeing bodies, some of which they said were covered.

Tarakram Nunna and Ramakrishna Mullapudi told The Associated Press they saw what appeared to be three people lying motionless on the ground.

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A silver sedan on the property appeared to have been shot at and was in an area cordoned off by investigators, according to coverage from NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the situation an "unspeakable tragedy."

"Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight." he said.

The full support of the state was made available to Allen officials and first responders, Abbott said. Resources include officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers and investigative assistance.

In a separate statement overnight, Allen Mayor Ken Fulk said he believes a rapid response by police and firefighters increased the number of survivors. "Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today," he said.

The nonprofit organization League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, said it was calling on Abbott and other state officials to convene an emergency meeting Monday in Austin to address gun violence and regulations.

Flowers and a stuffed animal are left at the scene the day after a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on May 7, 2023 in Allen, Texas.
Stewart F. House | Getty Images News | Getty Images

"We must stop this epidemic of killings by declaring that Texas is taking immediate steps to prevent more mass shootings that are becoming all too frequent," LULAC national president Domingo Garcia said in the group's statement.

The shooting came barely a week after a man fatally shot five people in Cleveland, Texas, after a neighbor asked him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept. It also follows other rampages in recent days, including the fatal shootings of six victims in a home in Oklahoma City on Monday, and gunfire that killed one and injured four in a medical facility in Atlanta on Wednesday.

When asked by CNN to respond to critics who argue that "thoughts and prayers" are not enough to prevent mass shootings, Republican Rep. Keith Self, who represents Allen, said, "Well, those are people that don't believe in an almighty God who is absolutely in control of our lives. I'm a Christian. I believe that he is."

Self added that he wanted to know what the motive of the gunman was and whether he had mental health issues, but that for now, he was focused on the victims and their families.

Shoppers leave as police respond to a shooting in the Dallas area's Allen Premium Outlets, which authorities said has left multiple people injured in Allen, Texas, U.S. May 6, 2023 in a still image from video.
ABC Affiliate WFAA | Via Reuters

Allen police said the attack was still under investigation and that people should continue to stay away from the shopping center.

The FBI has asked anyone with information or tips about the shooting to report them to the agency.

The shopping center, operated by Simon Property Group, occupies 69 acres and houses more than 120 retailers. The company thanked police who stopped the suspected shooter and first responders.

"We are horrified by today's senseless tragedy and outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country," it said in a statement Saturday night.