At least 8 killed, 7 wounded in shooting at Texas outlet mall

By Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 5:32 p.m. ET, May 16, 2023
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6:37 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

What we know so far about the massacre at a Texas outlet mall

From CNN Staff

A gunman opened fire at an outlet mall in the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas, Saturday — the latest mass shooting to shatter an American community.

Here's what we know so far:

  • More than a dozen victims: At least eight people were killed and seven more were wounded in the massacre, local officials said. Victims ranged in age from 5 to 61 years old, according to a Dallas-area medical group. A father who rushed to be with his son at the mall described the horror that awaited him there.
  • Police killed the gunman: An officer was already at the mall for an unrelated call when the gunfire broke out, the Allen police chief said Saturday. The officer followed the sound of gunshots, tracked down the shooter and killed him, according to the chief.
  • The shooter's background: The gunman, who dressed in tactical gear, has been identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, a senior law enforcement source told CNN. Garcia had been living in some kind of temporary housing in the Dallas area, the source said. He used to work as a security guard and had received firearms training in that role, according to an official database.
  • The gunman's weapons: The shooter was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and had at least one other weapon on him when he was gunned down by police, a senior law enforcement source told CNN. Police also found multiple weapons in his car.
  • Potential extremist ties: Authorities are investigating whether the shooter was motivated by right-wing extremism, a senior law enforcement source said. Authorities have not zeroed in on a specific motive, but the source said the shooter was found with an insignia on his clothing that read "RWDS" — an acronym known to watch groups — potentially standing for "Right Wing Death Squad." He also had an extensive social media presence that included neo-Nazi and White supremacist-related posts, according to the official.
  • What we're still waiting for: More word directly from Texas officials. Authorities did not hold an official news conference Sunday, and have released little information about their investigation. The FBI told CNN Sunday the Texas Department of Public Safety is the lead agency in the mass shooting investigation.
5:32 p.m. ET, May 16, 2023

A father rushed to the Allen outlet mall after getting a call from his son. He arrived to a horrifying scene

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Steven Spainhouer speaks with CNN.
Steven Spainhouer speaks with CNN. CNN

Editor’s Note: This post contains graphic descriptions of the shooting’s aftermath.

A veteran and former police officer described the haunting scenes he found when he arrived at the outlet mall in Allen, Texas, Saturday.

The aftermath of the mass shooting there was “horrific,” Steven Spainhouer told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Sunday. The former Army officer said he wouldn’t wish it upon anyone to see or experience what he did.

Spainhouer said he was planning to meet his son, who works at the H&M store at the outlet mall, for lunch. His son called to tell him about the active shooter and that he was sheltered in the break room at the store.

Spainhouer drove to the outlet mall and said when he showed up, he saw many people fleeing the scene and counted seven bodies on the ground.

He rushed up to different victims to check for a pulse, and said he witnessed one woman who had “nothing left of her face or head, it was gone.”

Spainhouer performed chest compressions on another victim, who coughed up blood and then died, he told CNN.

Then he saw a young child who crawled out from underneath one of the victims and was “caked with blood from head to toe,” Spainhouer said. The child kept saying that his mother was hurt.

The father, who has personal and professional experience handling firearms, said the horror he found at the mall will repeat itself if lawmakers don't limit the access of certain weapons to the public.

“I love guns. I love (the) Second Amendment. I own guns. I teach people how to shoot guns. But we don’t need these high-capacity weapons on our streets," Spainhouer said. “All the prayers and thoughts and well wishes in the world are great in time of tragedy, but if you don’t change our gun laws and put red flag laws in place and take these high-capacity weapons off the street, it’s going to happen again."

Spainhouer added that both he and his son will receive counseling for what they witnessed Saturday.

Allen police subsequently disputed parts of Spainhouer's account, noting "inconsistencies" between his media interviews and the facts of the investigation. The department said it conducted a follow-up interview with Spainhouer and "determined that [he] is not a credible incident witness."

According to the police department, Spainhouer did not perform CPR, and did not move a deceased mother who was covering a child who survived the shooting.

In response, Spainhouer stood by his account, said he was "hurt and disappointed," and clarified that "a small child pulled himself from under a victim and I assisted him to a safe space away from the area."

This article was updated on May 16 to reflect the Allen Police Department's statement disputing parts of Steven Spainhouer's eyewitness account — and Spainhouer's response to the police press release.

6:11 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

Source: Authorities investigating Texas mall shooter's possible extremist motivations

From CNN's Josh Campbell

Authorities are investigating whether the Allen, Texas, outlet mall shooter was motivated by right-wing extremism, a senior law enforcement source familiar with the investigation tells CNN.

While the investigation remains ongoing and authorities have not zeroed in on a specific motive, the source said the deceased shooter was found with an insignia on his clothing that read "RWDS," which authorities believe may stand for "Right Wing Death Squad."

As the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors and reports on extremism, has noted in the past, some members of extremist groups have been seen in recent years with patches bearing the same letters.

Investigators have also uncovered the gunman's extensive social media presence, the law enforcement source tells CNN. It includes neo-Nazi and White supremacist-related posts, and images that authorities believe he shared online, according to the official.

4:28 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

Mental health organization offers free counseling for residents following Allen outlet mall shooting

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Flowers and a stuffed animal are left at Allen Premium Outlets on May 7.
Flowers and a stuffed animal are left at Allen Premium Outlets on May 7. Stewart F. House/Getty Images

A local mental health group is offering free counseling to the residents of Collin County, Texas, following Saturday’s shooting at a Dallas-area outlet mall.

Lifepath Systems will offer free counseling to those affected by the shooting, working with law enforcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Texas Health and Human Services, it said in a statement.

“We grieve with the families affected by this senseless act of violence and the entire Allen community,” Lifepath Systems said in a Facebook post.

Lifepath System works as a unit of local government and a not-for-profit center, according to its website.

3:33 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

Suspected gunman had received firearms training as a security guard

From CNN's Yahya Abou-Ghazala, Bob Ortega and Curt Devine

Mauricio Garcia — the 33-year-old who has been identified as the gunman in the Allen, Texas, outlet mall shooting, according to a senior law enforcement source — received firearms training for part of his work as a security officer, according to an official database.

Garcia was approved to work as a commissioned security guard in Texas from April 2016 until April 2020, when his license expired, according to the Texas Online Private Security database, maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

His profile shows he worked for at least three security companies. None of those companies immediately responded to requests for comment. 

According to the database, Garcia received Level II  and Level III security training. The former covers security laws in Texas; the latter, which is required for all commissioned security officers in Texas, includes firearm training and the demonstration of firearm proficiency, according to Jonah Nathan, vice president of Ranger Guard, a security guard service in Texas not affiliated with Garcia’s employers.

In 2018, Garcia also completed a separate firearms proficiency training course, which requires six hours of continuing education, according to the Texas DPS database. 

Private security guards in Texas undergo background checks and are disqualified if they have committed certain crimes, such as assault, burglary or sexual offenses, among others, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety website and state codes.

They are also disqualified if they have been dishonorably discharged from the US military; have been found incompetent by a court of law; or have been required to register as a sex offender. It’s unclear why Garcia’s license expired.

A police officer killed the gunman outside the outlet mall after he carried out the massacre Saturday, according to the Allen police chief. The shooting left at least least eight people dead and seven others wounded.

3:50 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

NHL’s Dallas Stars cancel watch party due to recent shooting in Allen, Texas 

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

The National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars have canceled Sunday’s playoff game watch party "out of respect for the victims" of the mall shooting in Allen, Texas. 

“We are beyond heartbroken over yesterday’s shooting within our community in Allen. We are at a loss for words. Our hearts are with the victims, their families and our community,” the Stars said in a statement on Sunday.

“Out of respect for the victims, families and community of Allen, tonight’s Game 3 Watch Party on PNC Plaza has been cancelled.”

Eight people were killed and at least seven others wounded when a gunman opened fire at an Allen, Texas, outlet mall Saturday afternoon, according to local officials.

3:22 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

Multiple people wounded in Texas mass shooting are being treated at local hospitals, police say

From CNN's Michelle Watson  

At least four patients injured in Saturday's mass shooting in Allen, Texas, are being treated at Medical City McKinney hospital near the Dallas suburb, police said in a news release Sunday.

One patient is in fair condition while the other three are in critical condition, the Allen Police Department said

Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said Saturday that at least nine shooting victims went to area hospitals after the shooting, two of whom succumbed to their injuries.

One wounded individual was transferred to Medical City Plano and is in fair condition, according to the Sunday release. Another individual was sent to Medical City Children’s Hospital and is in fair condition, the police department said.

The age of the patient sent to Medical City Children’s Hospital has not been released, but officials have earlier said that the victims ranged in age from 5 to 61.

The seventh surviving patient “was treated at a different area hospital," the release added.  

The shooting left at least eight people dead, according to local officials, and a police officer also killed the gunman outside the mall.

3:18 p.m. ET, May 7, 2023

Allen outlet mall shooter identified as 33-year-old man, senior law enforcement source tells CNN

From CNN's Josh Campbell and Ed Lavandera

The gunman in Saturday's mass shooting in Allen, Texas, has been identified as Mauricio Garcia, 33, a senior law enforcement source familiar with the investigation tells CNN's Josh Campbell. 

In addition to the AR-15 style weapon found near him, Garcia had at least one other weapon on him when he was fatally shot in front of the mall, the source tells CNN. Police also found multiple weapons in his car.

CNN talked with neighbors who witnessed FBI and police at a home with an address matching that of Garcia's parents Saturday night. Authorities arrived there about an hour after the shooting and blocked off the street for several hours, neighbors told CNN's Ed Lavandera

Garcia had been living in some form of temporary housing, according to the senior law enforcement source. The Dallas Morning News reports the suspect had been staying in an extended-stay hotel in Dallas.