A shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, has claimed the lives of eight individuals.
According to a report on Sunday May 7, 2023, an assailant also died in the incident which reportedly happened in an area of Dallas called Allen.
Authorities said the gunman stepped out of a silver sedan and started shooting people. Authorities did not immediately provide details about the victims at Allen Premium Outlets, a sprawling outdoor shopping center, but witnesses reported seeing children among them.
Some said they also saw what appeared to be a police officer and a mall security guard unconscious on the ground.
During a press conference on Saturday evening, Allen Fire Chief Johnathan Boyd said seven people died during the shooting at the mall.
Emergency responders transported nine people to local hospitals. Of those nine, two people have died, three were in surgery and four are stable.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said an Allen police officer was responding to an unrelated call at the mall when he heard shots. He went toward where the shots rang out and “neutralized” the suspect. Although rumors swirled there were multiple shooters, police believe the gunman acted alone.
Medical City Healthcare, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement it was treating eight between the ages of 5 and 61.
A slew of elected officials spoke at the press conference, highlighting what a tragedy this is to the community, while praising the swift response of emergency responders.
“There are many, many people in our community who are hurting, whose lives have been shattered, who need and deserve our collected prayers,” state Rep. Jeff Leach, an Allen resident, said.
“We’ll never know how many lives were saved by the swift actions of first responders,” said state Rep. Keith Self.
A vigil at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church is planned for Sunday at 5 p.m.
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, released a statement saying he has offered all the state’s resources to investigate the incident.
“Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy,” said Abbott. “I have been in contact with Mayor Fulk and DPS Director McCraw as well as other state and local leaders and offered the full support of the State of Texas to local officials to ensure all needed assistance and resources are swiftly deployed, including DPS officers, Texas Rangers, and investigative resources.”
Allen Premium Outlets said in a statement, “We are horrified by today’s senseless tragedy and outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and others affected by this heinous act. We are thankful for the police officer’s heroic actions and for the support of all the first responders.”
The statement further revealed that the Allen Premium Outlets will remain closed until further notice due to the investigation.
The Allen Police Department is asking anyone who witnessed the incident or has video footage to contact The FBI at 1-800-225-5324.
Allen Mayor Ken Fulk said, “Today is a tragic day for the City of Allen, our citizens, our friends and visitors who were at the Allen Premium Outlets. We are a strong and caring community, and we want all of the victims and their families impacted by this tragedy to know that we will wrap our arms around you, and we are here for you.”
He added, “The city of Allen pledges to offer our complete support. We know you are grieving, we are grieving. Rest assured, the nation and the world are also grieving.
“Allen is a proud and safe city which makes today’s senseless act of violence even more shocking. However, I want to commend our police and fire departments for their quick response. Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today. We also want to thank all of our surrounding municipalities and law enforcement agencies for offering their assistance at the scene. This collective effort is what makes our North Texas communities united.
“We know the days ahead will be difficult and somber. While we remember the victims of today’s shooting, we want to convey our appreciation for the condolences and notes we are receiving from all over the world. I have received calls from The White House, Governor Abbot and many other national, state and county officials who have reached out to the City of Allen to express their support and desire to help the Allen Community in any way possible.
“On behalf of the city council, our law enforcement personnel, first responders and all of our city employees – we will remain strong and stand united.”
Allen, about 25 miles north of downtown Dallas, has roughly 105,000 residents.
Mass killings are happening with staggering frequency in the United States this year: an average of about one a week, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.