What was supposed to be a sunny Saturday afternoon for hundreds of shoppers at the premium outlets in North Texans Allen devolved into terror when a gunman opened fire, injuring seven others and killing eight people.
A young boy, aged 6, who was at the mall to collect his birthday present, miraculously survived the incident. Unfortunately, his parents and younger sibling, who was only 3 years old, did not make it out alive.
An engineer from India who had made a home in Frisco, thousands of miles away from her family, was one of the victims. Two sisters, a fourth grader and a second grader, lost their seats in the elementary school and will remain empty for the rest of the school year.
The shooter’s connections to white supremacist organizations are being examined, but law enforcement has not yet revealed a potential motive for the attack.
The gunfire also took place in Collin County, which houses a rapidly expanding Asian American community comprising nearly 20% of the county’s inhabitants. Fifty percent of the casualties were of Asian American descent.
Justice for Asian Texans is calling for a thorough investigation to help alleviate the community’s concerns regarding the past few years of anti-Asian violence and harassment, with Trieu Lily serving as the executive director and Chanda Parbhoo, the founder of Engagement + Empowerment + Education Voter for Americans Asian South, alongside other advocates.
Authorities shared the names of the victims on Monday, including Aishwarya Thatikonda, 26; Daniela Mendoza, 11; Sofia Mendoza, 8; Kyu Cho, 37; Cindy Cho, 35; James Cho, 3; Christian LaCour, 23; and Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32.
The residents of Allen, Texas turned a makeshift flag into a memorial to honor the eight victims. They put up a sign with the message “Pray for Allen, TX” outside the outlet mall. They have left bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals.
Here’s the information we currently have about a few of the individuals affected:
Aishwarya Thatikonda, 26
As per India Express, Thatikonda had been employed as a project engineer at Perfect General Contractors in Frisco. She obtained her postgraduate degree in construction management from Eastern Michigan University in 2020 and relocated from India to the United States five years ago to complete her education.
According to the company’s owner, Srinivas Chaluvadi, Thatikonda had planned to celebrate her birthday on May 18, according to The Dallas Morning News.
She couldn’t go to the mall on Saturday to meet her family members as she had previously informed them. She was at the mall with a friend.
Her father works as a district judge in India, near Hyderabad, where her family lives. He mentioned that she sent her body back home and is working as the treasurer of the Telugu Association of North America.
Daniela Mendoza, 11; Sofia Mendoza, 8
According to a post on social media, the gym stated that Daniela and Sofia have a preference for the color yellow. The siblings were enrolled in cheerleading and tumbling lessons at Wylie Elite.
Daniela was in the fourth grade, and Sofia was in the second grade at Cox Elementary School in Sachse.
Krista Wilson, the principal of the school, characterized them as “the most considerate and compassionate students with radiant smiles that have the ability to illuminate any space,” referring to Daniela and Sofia.
“We will never forget Daniela and Sofia. In this statement to the community, David Vinson, Superintendent of Wylie ISD, expressed how much we love them and their babies. We love each other and our kiddos very much.”
According to a GoFundMe page for the family, their mother was wounded in the shooting.
According to the page, “Kindly request to pray for their mother, my sister, and her shattered heart.” The daughters have created an emptiness that cannot be filled by anything in the entire world.
Cindy Cho, 35; Kyu Cho, 37; James Cho, 3
As stated on a GoFundMe page dedicated to the family, Cindy and Kyu took their son William’s sixth birthday celebration to the outlet mall on Saturday in order to exchange garments. They had recently commemorated their son’s sixth birthday and accompanied him, along with their 3-year-old, James.
The household peruses, “A GoFundMe page for the household that tragically perished and the household is in profound sorrow, Cindy, Kyu, and three-year-old James were among those casualties.” The solitary remaining [family] member of this dreadful occurrence is their six-year-old son William, subsequent to being discharged from the ICU.
Reyes Noel Ryan, a fellow student in dental school with Cindy, took to Facebook to remind the Cho family to remember, saying “we need more good people like her and Cindy in the world.”
Reyes expressed, “Cindy was remarkable and one of the kindest individuals you would have ever encountered. This particular situation is undeniably devastating.” “Existence is already excessively brief, and occasionally needlessly briefer. Embrace your beloved ones and express your love for them, long for them, desire them a pleasant day, and so forth.”
Gerace, in a respectful and kind manner, mentioned that Kyu was the very first student she remembered when she joined North Richardson Junior High School. Kyu, on the other hand, recalled Gerace Yllana Bernadette as a quiet and polite student at the same school.
She saw him last time, which was before the shooting at the mall outlet on Friday. Before taking a nap, James told her and McKinney, a teacher at the early childhood education center in the Whitley, Trinnity, that he had sweet dreams.
James was in nursery school, and Whitley had been his instructor for a year.
“He had the ability to read, write names, and perform basic mathematical calculations. He displayed exceptional intelligence considering his age,” Whitley expressed.
She referred to James as a “mini-educator” because he enjoyed being the focal point and guiding others.
One of Whitley’s cherished memories with James was playing a game of hide and seek on the playground.
She said, “James enjoyed playing with more teachers than the kids.” We both fell while running and rolled around on the grass.
Christian LaCour, 23
Christian LaCour had been working as a security guard at the mall on Saturday.
On Facebook, Sandra Montgomery, LaCour’s grandmother, penned, “He possessed an exquisite essence … With aspirations for his upcoming days.” “I had the opportunity to meet him a fortnight ago and I felt an immense sense of pride towards him.”
Kind and dedicated student a him remembered district school the. School High Farmersville from graduated had and Farmersville in up grew LaCour.
In a statement on Facebook, the district said, “He was a dedicated student who enjoyed thought-provoking questions and learning. Christian was known as a genuinely kind person.” Christian was loved by FISD staff members and fellow students, and he was a good student and a wonderful friend.”