Allen outlet mass shooting in Texas leaves at least nine dead

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Law enforcement agents stand guard after the mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets in Texas. — AFP
Law enforcement agents stand guard after the mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets in Texas. — AFP

  • Allen police say shooter acted alone, while motive remains unknown.
  • One officer on a separate call responded to gunshots immediately.
  • Lone gunman was neutralised by same officer after a brief shootout.

A lone gunman went on a mass killing spree at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, near Dallas, shooting at least nine people dead before he was taken out by the police who responded rapidly to the situation to restrict the shooter from doing further fatal damage, CNN reported Sunday.

Authorities in Allen responded to the afternoon shooting at Allen Premium Outlets, sending the shoppers and workers to run for cover. They were told that an active shooter was on a rampage in the shopping mall.

The Allen outlet mall shooting left several others injured and victims were rushed to trauma facilities, officials said Saturday night. The gunman thought to have acted alone, was killed by police in a shootout.

Allen, Texas, Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said that at least nine people were sent to hospitals. “Of those that we transported, two have since died. Three are in critical surgery, and four are stable,” said Boyd.

According to Allen Police Department, one of its officers was in the mall to address a different complaint, when gunshots rang around 3:30 p.m. 

"That officer "engaged the suspect and neutralised the threat," police said.

A Dallas-area medical group says it was treating victims as young as 5 years old.

The gunman, whom authorities said was not assisted by anyone and whose motive was not yet known, was killed by a police officer after he began firing outside of the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, Texas, the city's police chief Brian Harvey said at a press conference.

Allen fire department chief Jon Boyd told the same press conference that his department took at least nine victims with gunshot wounds to area hospitals.

Two of those people died at the hospital, Boyd said at a second press conference Saturday night. Three of the victims were in critical condition and four others were stable.

Medical City Healthcare, which runs 16 hospitals in the area, said in a statement that its trauma centres were treating eight of the wounded victims, who ranged in age from 5 to 61.

Collin County Judge Chris Hill, the top elected official in the county where Allen sits, praised police and other first responders at a press conference, but expressed deep anger with "those that would do evil in our community, in our backyard."

In another development, police in the nearby city of Frisco, Texas, said they had evacuated the Stonebriar Mall late Saturday after receiving reports of shots fired there. It was not yet clear if a shooting had actually taken place.

TV aerial images showed hundreds of people calmly walking out of the mall, located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Dallas after the violence unfolded, many with their hands up as scores of police stood guard.

One unidentified eyewitness told local ABC affiliate WFAA TV that the gunman was "walking down the sidewalk just ... shooting his gun outside," and that "he was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part."

Blood could be seen on sidewalks outside the mall and white sheets covering what appeared to be bodies.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, calling the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy," said in a statement that the state was prepared to offer any assistance local authorities may need.

Allen, Texas, is a community of about 100,000 people.

Mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States, with at least 198 so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.