A gunman shot and killed eight people and injured at least seven others at a crowded mall north of Dallas on Saturday, according to authorities.
The gunman, who officials believe acted alone and whose motivation is unknown, was killed by a police officer after opening fire outside the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, Texas, according to the city’s police chief, Brian Harvey, during a news conference.
At the same news conference, Allen Fire Chief Jon Boyd stated that his department transported at least nine people with gunshot wounds to surrounding hospitals.
Two of those victims died in the hospital, according to Boyd, who spoke at a second press conference Saturday night. Three of the victims were critically injured, while four others were stable.
Medical City Healthcare, which has 16 hospitals in the area, said in a statement that eight of the injured patients, aged 5 to 61, were being treated at its trauma centers.
Collin County Judge Chris Hill, the county’s highest elected official, lauded police and other first responders during a news conference, but voiced great rage at “those that would do evil in our community, in our backyard.”
Separately, police in Frisco, Texas, reported late Saturday that they had evacuated the Stonebriar mall after receiving reports of shots fired there. It was not clear whether or not a gunshot had occurred.
After the incident, TV overhead photos showed hundreds of people peacefully strolling out of the mall, located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Dallas, many with their hands up while scores of police stood guard.
One unidentified eyewitness told local ABC affiliate WFAA TV that the gunman was “walking down the sidewalk just … shooting his gun outside,” and that “he was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part.”
Outside the mall, there was blood on the pathways and white sheets covering what seemed to be bodies. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who called the shooting a “unspeakable tragedy,” said in a statement that the state was ready to assist local police in any way they needed.
Allen, Texas, has a population of around 100,000 people.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, mass shootings have become routine in the United States, with at least 198 so far in 2023, the highest at this stage in the year since at least 2016. A mass shooting is defined by the nonprofit group as any incident in which four or more persons are injured or killed, not including the killer.