Tragic Shooting at Dallas Outlet Mall Kills Eight


On May 6, Mauricio Garcia opened fired in a Dallas mall, killing eight people. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On May 6, eight people were killed and at least seven more were wounded in a shooting at a Dallas outlet mall. Calls poured in from distraught shoppers, some crying into their phones pleading for help and describing wounded loved ones, and others searching for guidance as they hid from the gunman, according to 911 audio obtained by CNN.

According to witnesses, the scene was horrifying, with some of the victims suffering from gunshot wounds and others covered in blood. Many of the victims were family shoppers, including 37-year-old Cho Kyu Song, his wife Kang Shin Young, and their 3 year-old son James, and several were very young, such as sisters Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, who were both elementary school students. Mall security guard Aishwarya Thatikonda and 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas were also killed. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the shooting was at least the 202nd mass shooting of 2023 in the United States.

Geoffrey Keaton was having lunch with his 16-year-old daughter at Fatburger in the mall when they heard gunshots.

“I got my baby girl under the counter to shield her, and then they got louder, like he was right there,” Keaton said.

He said the restaurant’s manager allowed customers to hide in the back; they then left the building through a rear door and ran to their cars.

A live video stream from a local television station showed scores of shoppers being evacuated from shops in an orderly fashion.

“It was just kind of chaotic for a second,” said 36-year-old Kaleo Palakiko. “Then when someone said, ‘Shooter,’ we all ran to the back of the store.”

Palakiko and his parents hid in a storage room for about 45 minutes before they were released by the police and walked out with their hands in the air.

Local police identified the shooter as Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old suspected Nazi sympathizer. The gunman was armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon, along with a tactical vest and a handgun, according to senior police officials. Garcia was killed on the same day by a police officer who happened to be at Allen Premium Outlets, about 25 miles north of Dallas.

In the subsequent investigation, additional weapons and ammunition were found in Garcia’s car. Garcia was also found to be wearing a patch on his chest that read “RWDS” at the time of the massacre, according to two top law enforcement officials. One of the senior law enforcement sources noted that the letters are thought to stand for “right-wing death squad,” a term common in far-right internet forums.

Police reported that Garcia had previously displayed a preoccupation with white nationalism and mass killings in posts on a Russian social networking site, including photos of swastika and SS lightning bolt emblem tattoos on his body.

According to two senior law enforcement sources, a preliminary investigation of what is thought to be the shooter’s social media accounts reveals hundreds of posts that contain racially or ethnically driven violent extremist speech, including neo-Nazi material and material endorsing white supremacy.

Authorities so far can neither confirm nor deny whether or not the shooting was a hate crime. One of the sources added that the authorities believe the shooter operated alone. Investigators are currently speaking with his friends and family.