Dozens of Shots5 min read
A gunman opened fire at a crowded mall north of Dallas yesterday, killing at least eight people and wounding seven others before he was shot to death, the authorities said. The shooting was the second-deadliest in the U.S. this year.
The authorities didn’t identify the gunman but said he had acted alone.
There have been 199 shootings of at least four people this year in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive, a database. And a particularly deadly spate of large-scale shootings has unfolded in recent days. Last weekend outside Houston, a gunman shot to death five people after neighbors had asked him to stop shooting in his yard.
Texas has some of the country’s most permissive gun laws, priding itself on being a state with more than 1 million gun owners despite its recent history of mass shootings. Many authorities in Texas say they have seen an increase in spur-of-the-moment gunfire since September 2021, when the state began to allow most adults to carry a handgun without a license.
Yesterday’s shooting was the deadliest in Texas since the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde in May 2022. Only the Monterey Park, Calif., mass shooting in January, in which a gunman killed 11 people in a ballroom, has killed more people in a single shooting in the U.S. this year.
How it unfolded
The gunfire started around 3:30 p.m. at the Allen Premium Outlets, an outdoor mall of more than 120 stores about 25 miles north of Dallas. Allen, a Dallas suburb, has about 100,000 residents, and the shopping center is one of the region’s largest.
The gunman got out of a car, then started shooting at people on a sidewalk, according to video circulating online, The Dallas Morning News reported. Dozens of shots rang out as he closed in on shoppers. Videos on social media also showed people dashing for shelter or running through a parking lot amid loud popping noises.
A police officer at the mall rushed toward the sound of gunfire and killed the gunman, the Allen police chief said.
Witnesses described a familiar scene of pandemonium. Geoffrey Keaton was having lunch when he heard the gunshots. “I immediately knew,” he told The Times. “I got my baby girl under the counter to shield her, and then they got louder, like he was right there.”
What we don’t know
Little is known about the victims; the authorities have yet to identify them. Seven people died at the mall, and two others died later at hospitals. The wounded range from 5 to 61, a hospital spokesman said. Three people were in critical condition and four in stable condition.
The authorities have not identified the gunman’s motive.
Shoppers said they hid in storerooms at the mall while they waited to evacuate.
Last weekend’s shooting outside Houston raised questions about how the police in Texas handle reports of gunfire.
State leaders in Texas have systematically rejected measures that would limit access to guns, The Texas Tribune reported.
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