Texas mall shooting: Scores of victims in mall massacre remain in hospital as investigators don’t know shooter’s motive
Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the attack, as many of those injured in the weekend’s horrific mass shooting at a Texas mall are still being treated in hospitals.
A 33-year-old gunman opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets north of Dallas on Saturday, killing eight people and wounding at least seven. Witnesses described the gruesome scene and said some of the victims suffered horrific gunshot wounds.
“The ambulance came, the doctors were panicking,” said Stephen Spainhuer, who was tending to victims in the mall’s parking lot.
“We’re trying to sort it out on site, but they’re like, ‘No, these are terrible injuries… we can’t sort it. Put them in the ambulance and go,” said Spainhuer.
Medical City Healthcare, which is treating six of the injured, said Tuesday that one of the injured was in critical condition and the other was critical.
The other two are in stable condition and the other two are in good condition, including at Medical City Children’s Hospital, the health network said, without naming any of the patients.
Most of the dead were from the same family, including a couple and their 3-year-old son and two school-aged sisters, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza.
Daniela and Sofia’s mother, Ilda Mendoza, was hospitalized Monday in critical condition, the girls’ school district said in a letter to parents. His current condition is unknown.
Irvin Walker II required surgery after the shooter fired directly into his car, hitting him twice in the chest and once in the shoulder, according to a verified GoFundMe set up in his name. Walker’s surgery was successful and he is in stable condition, the page said.
Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Hank Sibley said Tuesday that the shooter, identified as Mauricio Garcia, had three weapons, including an incredibly lethal AR-15 rifle, and five other people in his car.
All of the firearms Garcia brought were legally obtained, Sibley said.
But while witnesses and authorities have painted a grim picture of how the attack unfolded, investigators have yet to find a motive for the massacre, the country’s second deadliest this year.
Although investigators found Garcia harbored “neo-Nazi ideas,” Sibley said the shooter was not targeting people based on their ethnicity.
“To me, it seems like he’s targeting a location, not a specific group of people,” Sibley said.
As the investigation continues, the FBI warns that fraudsters may be trying to profit from the tragedy.
“We are now aware of fraudulent online fundraising efforts for victims,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough in Dallas.
As investigators continue to sift through Garcia’s electronics and social media, several details about the shooter’s history have emerged, including online posts that appear to show his pro-Nazi support and fascination with firearms and past mass shootings.
Sibley also said Tuesday that Garcia had tattoos and patches representing neo-Nazi ideas.
A photo from the scene obtained by CNN shows Garcia lying on the ground after being shot. He wears a patch that says ‘RWDS,’ which authorities say could stand for ‘Right Wing Death Squad,'” a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Investigators say the badge also appears in a photo posted by a user of an account on the Russian social media site Odnoklassniki that a law enforcement source said belonged to Garcia.
The user also posted posts supporting Nazi ideology and posted a photo of the mall in the weeks before the shooting.
A few weeks before the shooting, the user also Google has posted a screenshot from Maps showing when the mall is at its busiest.
Garcia, who previously worked as a security guard, had no documented criminal history, Sibley said.
Christian LaCour, a 20-year-old mall security guard, was killed while trying to lead people to safety, authorities said.
“We must also recognize the bravery of Union (Universal) Guard Christian LaCour, who evacuated one person to safety and bravely shot himself to help others,” the police chief said. Allen, Brian Harvey.
“LaCour is a person who walks into a store and the whole room lights up,” said Max Weiss, a mall employee.
Another victim, Elio Cumana-Rivas, worked hard as a delivery boy to support his parents in Venezuela, his brother Gregory Smith Cumana told CNN.
“We were all very close,” Kumana said. “She helped her mother buy medicine and she also contacted our father to make sure he had everything he needed.”
The attack also devastated the Korean American family — their family of four was reduced to a family of one after Cho Kyu Song, 37, and Kang Shin Young, 35, became parents to 6-year-old Cho and his 3-year-old brother. all were killed.
James, the younger brother, liked to wear bras and elephant dresses, his daycare teacher, Trinity Whitley, told CNN affiliate WFAA.
“He was such a sweet boy and we miss him every day. And there will not be a day when we don’t think about it,” he says.
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