Witnesses to shooting at Texas mall saw dead bodies; exact toll unclear
Police officer shoots and kills gunman in Dallas suburb of Allen
Allen, Texas • A gunman got out of a silver sedan and began shooting at people at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb on Saturday, killing an unknown number and sending hundreds of shoppers circling the country in a panic over the recent gun violence hold true.
Witnesses who were at the Allen Premium Outlets told The Associated Press they saw several victims, including some who appeared to be children, and that they saw a police officer and a mall security guard who appeared to be unconscious on the ground.
Allen Police said in a Facebook post that nine victims had been taken to hospitals. Medical City Healthcare, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement that it treats eight, ranging in age from 5 to 61 years. Her condition was unknown.
Dashcam video circulated online showed a gunman getting out of a vehicle outside the mall and immediately shooting at people on the sidewalk. More than three dozen shots were heard as the vehicle capturing the video pulled away.
An Allen police officer was in the area on an unrelated call when he heard gunshots at 3:36 p.m., the police department wrote on Facebook.
“The officer attacked the suspect and neutralized the threat. He then called emergency services. Nine victims were transported by Allen Fire Department to local hospitals,” the agency wrote in the Facebook post. “There is no longer an active threat.”
A crowd of hundreds of people who had shopped stood outside across the street from the mall on Saturday night. Officers walked between them and asked if anyone saw what happened.
Fontayne Payton, 35, was at H&M when he heard gunfire through the headphones he was wearing.
“It was so loud it sounded like it was right outside,” Payton said.
People at the store dispersed before staff ushered the group into the changing rooms and then into a locked back room, he said. When they were given the green light to go, Payton saw that the store had broken windows and a trail of blood on the door. Discarded sandals and bloody clothes lay nearby.
Payton saw bodies outside.
“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said. The bodies were covered in white towels and slumped over bags on the floor, he said.
“It broke me going out to see that,” he said.
Farther away he saw the body of a heavyset man dressed all in black. He assumes it’s the shooter, Payton said, because unlike the other bodies, it wasn’t covered up.
Tarakram Nunna, 25, and Ramakrishna Mullapudi, 26, said they saw three people lying motionless on the ground, including one who appeared to be a police officer and another who appeared to be a security guard at a mall.
Another shopper, Sharkie Mouli, 24, said he was hiding at a Banana Republic store during the shooting. As he was leaving, he saw an apparently unconscious police officer lying next to another unconscious person in front of the outlet store.
“I saw his gun right next to him and a guy passed out right next to him,” Mouli said.
Stan and Mary Ann Greene were browsing the Columbia athletic wear store when filming began.
“We had just walked in a few minutes earlier and just heard a lot of loud banging,” Mary Ann Greene told The Associated Press.
Staff immediately rolled down the security gate and took everyone to the back of the store until police arrived and escorted them out, Greens said.
Eber Romero was at the Under Armor store when a cashier mentioned that there had been a shooting.
When he left the store, Romero said, the mall appeared to be empty and all the stores had their security gates down. That’s when he started seeing broken glass and shot people on the ground.
Video shared on social media showed people running through a parking lot as gunfire was heard.
More than 30 police cruisers with blue lights blocked an entrance to the mall while several ambulances were at the scene.
A live air feed from the news channel showed armored trucks and other police vehicles stationed outside the sprawling outdoor mall.
Ambulances from several neighboring cities moved out on site.
The Dallas bureau of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.
Allen, a suburb about 25 miles north of downtown Dallas, has a population of approximately 105,000.