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9 dead and 3 in critical condition after mass shooting at Texas outlet mall

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Responding law enforcement officers helped shoppers evacuate and cleared each retailer to ensure no dangers remained, according to witness accounts.

Multiple mall shoppers and employees said they heard gunfire and took cover where they could before running out or barricading themselves in back rooms.

Stan and Mary Ann Greene were browsing in the Columbia sportswear store when the shooting started.

“We had just gotten in, just a couple minutes earlier, and we just heard a lot of loud popping,” Mary Ann Greene told The Associated Press.

Employees immediately rolled down the security gate and brought everyone to the rear of the store until police arrived and escorted them out, the Greenes said.

Several witnesses reported seeing bodies, some of which they said were covered.

Tarakram Nunna and Ramakrishna Mullapudi told The Associated Press they saw what appeared to be three people lying motionless on the ground.

People raise their hands as they leave a shopping center following reports of a shooting Saturday in Allen, Texas. LM Otero / AP

A silver sedan on the property appeared to have been shot at and was in an area cordoned off by investigators, according to coverage from NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the situation an “unspeakable tragedy.”

“Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight.” he said.

The full support of the state was made available to Allen officials and first responders, Abbott said. Resources include officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers and investigative assistance.

In a separate statement overnight, Allen Mayor Ken Fulk said he believes a rapid response by police and firefighters increased the number of survivors. “Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today,” he said.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on May 6, 2023 in Allen, Texas.
Emergency personnel work the scene of a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday in Allen, Texas. Stewart F. House / Getty Images

The nonprofit organization League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, said it was calling on Abbott and other state officials to convene an emergency meeting Monday in Austin to address gun violence and regulations.

“We must stop this epidemic of killings by declaring that Texas is taking immediate steps to prevent more mass shootings that are becoming all too frequent,” LULAC national president Domingo Garcia said in the group’s statement.

The shooting came barely a week after a man fatally shot five people in Cleveland, Texas, after a neighbor asked him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept. It also follows other rampages in recent days, including the fatal shootings of six victims in a home in Oklahoma City on Monday, and gunfire that killed one and injured four in a medical facility in Atlanta on Wednesday.

When asked by CNN to respond to critics who argue that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough to prevent mass shootings, Republican Rep. Keith Self, who represents Allen, said, “Well, those are people that don’t believe in an almighty God who is absolutely in control of our lives. I’m a Christian. I believe that he is.”

Self added that he wanted to know what the motive of the gunman was and whether he had mental health issues, but that for now, he was focused on the victims and their families.

Allen police said the attack was still under investigation and that people should continue to stay away from the shopping center.

The FBI has asked anyone with information or tips about the shooting to report them to the agency.

The shopping center, operated by Simon Property Group, occupies 69 acres and houses more than 120 retailers. The company thanked police who stopped the suspected shooter and first responders.

“We are horrified by today’s senseless tragedy and outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country,” it said in a statement Saturday night.

Andrew Blankstein, Cristian Santana, Clare Secrist, Joe Kottke, Emma Li , Associated Press and Elizabeth Chuck contributed.

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