HomeUSAEyewitnesses recall horrifying scenes from Allen, Texas, outlet mall shooting

Eyewitnesses recall horrifying scenes from Allen, Texas, outlet mall shooting

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ALLEN, Texas — As eyewitness accounts of the mass shooting at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, continue to pour in, survivors have described a harrowing account of the carnage in which a gunman shot and killed eight people Saturday night at the Allen Premium Outlets, about 29 miles northeast of Dallas.

The suspected shooter, who was identified by two senior law enforcement officials as Mauricio Garcia, was killed by police. The 33-year-old had a tactical vest and was armed with a rifle of some kind as well as a handgun, one of the senior law enforcement officials said. More weapons and ammunition were found in his car, the official said.

Employees, shoppers and their relatives said they would never forget the terrifying scene that played out before them.

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Steven Spainhouer rushed to the mall after his son, who was barricading inside the H&M store break room, called him frantically. The former police officer said he pulled a young boy, covered in blood, from underneath his wounded mother.

“The trail of blood from where the victims were laying to the police car will stick in my head forever,” Spainhouer said.

Spainhouer said he was one of the first to arrive at the outlet, before police got to the scene. Seven people were on the ground, shot in front of the mall. He began checking for pulses among the victims.

One victim died as Spainhouer performed CPR on him.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said.

Jaquetta Jones, 39, also received a call from her son, Jamal, 20, who was eating at a hamburger restaurant in the mall when the shooting began.

“He called me … and he was very muffled stating, ‘Mom, there’s an active shooter. We’re hiding in a bathroom,’” Jones said. Her son and his friends were safely evacuated.

Rama Bataineh, a 20-year-old Coach store employee who was on her lunch break, said she attempted to seek shelter from the shooting in her car.

The door was locked. She called her store manager, who opened a back door for her to enter.

“I went inside and all the customers, all the employees, everyone was in the back sitting on the floor. Everyone was terrified,” Bataineh said.

When the shooting stopped, cops escorted the group outside, where Bataineh encountered a macabre scene.

“I saw a body, there was a guy in front of me. I didn’t sleep all night. I’d wake up and throw up,” she said.

Maxwell Gum, 16, a pretzel stand employee, said he and several other people hid in a storage room as shots rang out.

“We started running. Kids were getting trampled,” he said. “My co-worker picked up a 4-year-old girl and gave her to her parents.”

Shoppers Stan and Mary Ann Greene said they were looking around a Columbia sportswear store when they heard “loud popping,” she said. Employees closed the security gate to the store and brought everyone to the rear until officers arrived.

The Allen outlet shooting marked the seventh mass shooting in Texas since the Uvalde massacre that killed 21 people, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.

Residents in the area described feeling a growing sense of exasperation at the frequency of the shootings.

“I listened on the media to folks from Uvalde express how frustrated they were when they got those calls. I hoped I would never have to have that. I am standing here today feeling the same emotions of the parents in Uvalde,” Spainhouer said. “No dad should have to seen his son walk out of a store with his hands up past three bodies,” he continued.

“If you think your community’s immune, Allen is one of the safest cities in the United States, and it happened in Allen.”

Char Adams reported from Allen, Uwa Ede-Osifo reported from New York.

The Associated Press contributed.

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