Texas shooting: Eight killed by gunman in Allen mall
According to emergency services, a gunman shot and killed 8 people who were shopping in a mall located in the north of Dallas.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the mall in the city of Allen, as eyewitnesses described a man firing indiscriminately at passers-by.
The police said they believed the gunman acted alone and shot him dead.
Some victims were reported to be young children. Three of the seven patients in the hospital are critically ill.
Jonathan Boyd, Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd, said that seven people including the gunman were declared dead on the spot and two more died in hospital.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey stated that a police officer “heard the gunshots and went to the gunshots. Engaged the suspect and neutralized him”.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy” and said that the state is ready to assist local authorities in any way.
As they gather evidence, US police asked the public to contact the FBI if there was any video taken at the scene.
Some witnesses described the gunman as dressed all in black and wearing combat gear.
“I heard about 10 pops go off, then ten to fifteen more shots – we see this guy dressed all in black, a vest, just shooting at people,” said one, adding “We just got to the back of the store”.
Video from the scene showed people running for cover across a parking lot as a series of shots rang out.
Allen has about 105,000 residents and is 20 miles (32km) north of central Dallas.
Most adults aged 21 or over in Texas can carry a handgun without a license unless they have a previous conviction. In addition, there are few restrictions on the possession of rifles and shotguns.
In the US so far this year there have been at least 198 mass shootings in which four or more people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That is the most at this point in the year since at least 2016.
One eyewitness at the mall, Fontayne Payton, told the AP news agency he heard gunshots through his headphones as he shopped at H&M.
He described seeing bodies outside when people were allowed to leave the mall.
“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said. “It broke me when I walked out to see that.”
Allen Mayor Ken Fulk called it “a tragic day” for the city. “Allen is a proud and safe city, which makes today’s senseless act of violence even more shocking,” he said on the city’s website. “However, I want to commend our police and fire departments for their quick response. Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today.”
Earlier this week police in Texas arrested a man accused of shooting dead five neighbors, including a nine-year-old boy.
Francisco Oropesa was found hiding in a cupboard after a four-day manhunt.