Allen, Texas mall shooter was removed from Army over mental health concerns: law enforcement sources

According to CNN, an individual familiar with the investigation and working in law enforcement has disclosed that Mauricio Garcia, aged 33, has been identified as the suspect in the mass shooting that occurred in Allen, Texas on Saturday.

At least seven others were wounded and eight people were killed in the deadly rampage that occurred in Allen, an affluent suburb about 25 miles north of Dallas, by the end of Saturday’s massacre.

According to the source, Garcia possessed at least one additional firearm at the time he was fatally shot in front of the mall, apart from the AR-15 style weapon discovered nearby. Law enforcement stated that several weapons were also recovered in his vehicle.

On Saturday evening, CNN interviewed residents who observed FBI and law enforcement officials at a residence with an address that corresponds to Garcia’s parents’. According to the neighbors, they arrived at the scene approximately one hour after the incident and cordoned off the surrounding street for a few hours.

Shooter removed from Army over ‘mental health concerns,’ suspected of ‘right-wing extremist ideology’

As per the law enforcement insider, Garcia had been residing in various types of temporary accommodation. ABC News was informed by sources within law enforcement who were briefed on the investigation that the assailant served in the U.S. Army in 2008 and was “discharged because of mental health issues.” Initial findings from the investigation suggest this.

Investigators have found social media accounts connected to the shooter that reveal hundreds of writings, images, and postings espousing the material and ideology of a violent neo-Nazi extremist group, which suggests a right-wing extremist ideology. Additionally, insignia on the shooter’s equipment indicates a connection to the white supremacist race.

None of the public comments were analyzed, as there were no postings that were shared, liked, or commented on by other users. The shooter’s account did not have any associates or friends that were publicly visible.

The shooter had extra pistols and multiple clips, and he unleashed gunfire using a semi-automatic rifle. Furthermore, investigators have established that he had no prior criminal record. In addition, the shooter was donning a bulletproof vest.

CNN informed bystanders that individuals, including employees, shoppers, and families with young children, swiftly fled and concealed themselves in storage areas or back hallways. A video recorded by a witness at the parking lot of Texas Outlets Premium Allen depicted panicked shoppers ducking and screaming, while rows of cars were visible in the background.

Authorities stated that an Allen Police Department officer, who happened to be at the mall for an unrelated incident, fatally shot the assailant. According to investigators, the perpetrator was presumed to be operating independently.

He seems to have several additional magazines strapped in his gear chest, and he is dressed in black body armor. A photo obtained by CNN shows what appears to be the gunman lying on the ground after being shot, with an AR-15-style firearm nearby.

“On Saturday night, four individuals were in critical condition and undergoing surgery, while three survivors remained stable in the stable. Chief Fire Allen said that two individuals, including Boyd Jonathan, have unfortunately passed away, and at least nine people were rushed to trauma facilities.”

A medical group in the Dallas area stated that it provided medical care to individuals as young as 5 years old.

On-duty security guard among those killed

ABC informed his sister, Brianna Smith, that Christian LaCour, a 20-year-old, passed away during the incident. The incident took place at the outlet mall where LaCour, who was working as a security guard at the time, was present.

“He was a very kind child. I’m upset that he’s no longer here,” Brianna Smith shared with ABC during their phone conversation.

Tracye LaCour, the mother of Christian, requested ABC for privacy and expressed their prayers for the families of the other victims.

Witness Kingsley Ezeh stated that he was strolling inside the shopping center when individuals behind him abruptly began sprinting.

“I turned around and I saw two ladies rushing towards me, and then one was like ‘Someone’s shooting! Someone’s shooting!'” He said.

Behind the running females, Ezeh mentioned that he could observe a gentleman clutching his throat, from which “blood (was) simply trickling down.”

He told them to go to the police station before an hour passed and huddled with others in the back of the store, Ezeh. As the police cleared the scene, other witnesses reported sheltering in the place for up to two hours.

Hundreds of shoppers, with their hands raised, were guided away from the location, navigating their way through police vehicles and ambulances, as depicted in the aerial footage. In the video, several bodies covered by sheets were also visible outside the shopping mall.

Republican US Rep. Keith Self, whose congressional district includes Allen, stated that the assault might have been more devastating had it not been for the prompt reaction from law enforcement.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the first responders who swiftly acted to neutralize the threat and ran towards the gunfire.

However, the Fourth of July parades and schools, as well as supermarkets and similar places, have long been considered safe by Americans. Unfortunately, another massacre has now left its mark on a public location, causing a sense of horror and devastation.

In Atlanta, a gunman opened fire in a medical facility in the same week, also killing four others and one woman.

Gov. Greg Abbott expressed, “The families need a prompt response, and I am aware of that fact. How did this occurrence take place? What compelled the perpetrator to engage in such actions? ‘Why did this event unfold?’ For instance, ‘Why did this event occur? What motivated the gunman to commit such an act? How did this event come to pass?’ There are unresolved queries that the families are seeking answers to.”

‘The shooting happened over and over’

Kimberly Blakey stated that she and her fourteen-year-old daughter were among the crowd attempting to escape the parking area during the assault.

“The shooting occurred repeatedly, continuously,” she stated.

Initially, Blakey drove towards the sound of the gunfire until her daughter advised her to change direction. In her hurry to escape, she found herself trapped behind a cluster of other vehicles attempting to do the same as she headed towards the exit, she recounted.

That’s when she experienced her car being struck twice by bullets.

“I advised my daughter to lower herself,” Blakey stated. “She complied, and I could hear her initiate praying.”

Despite having a flat tire, the pair managed to get out of the parking lot and make it home without stopping, even though they had a light warning on their car.

“We were on a mission to leave that place,” Blakey mentioned.

At the mall’s Fatburger eatery, employee Tiffany Gipson and patrons concealed themselves in a corridor situated at the rear of the restaurant.

“I’ve never witnessed anything like this,” Gipson said. “This is very traumatic for me, and I already suffer from anxiety and seizures.”.

ABC News made a contribution to this report.