HomeUSATexas mall shooter shared extremist beliefs on apparent social media page

Texas mall shooter shared extremist beliefs on apparent social media page

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A social media page appearing to belong to a gunman who killed eight people at a Dallas-area outlet mall had shared extremist beliefs with rants against Jews, women and racial minorities posted since September, as well as posts about struggling with mental health.

Mauricio Garcia, 33, maintained a profile on the Russian social networking platform OK.ru, including posts referring to extremist online forums, such as 4chan, and content from white nationalists, including Nick Fuentes, an antisemitic white nationalist provocateur.

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In the weeks before the attack, Garcia posted more than two dozen photos of Allen Premium Outlets, where an officer killed him after the shooting Saturday, and surrounding areas, including several screenshots of Google location information, seemingly monitoring the mall at its busiest times.

Many of his posts referred to his mental health. In his final post, he lamented what his family might say and wrote that no psychologist would have been able to fix him.

In another post, he made disturbing comments about what makes a mass shooting “important” and praised a person who opened fire at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, this year, killing six people, including three children.

The shooter also posted a series of links to other sites, including a YouTube account that featured a video published the day of the shooting. In it he removed a “Scream” mask and said, “Not quite what you were expecting, huh?”

He also posted photos of a flak vest emblazoned with patches, one of them with the initials for “Right Wing Death Squad,” a popular meme among far-right extremist groups. Another post included a series of shirtless pictures with visible white power tattoos, including SS lightning bolts and a swastika.

The shooter was armed with multiple weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun, authorities said.

Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were tracing at least four weapons found at the scene, a law enforcement source said, including weapons found in his vehicle.

Electronic receipts posted on the shooter’s social media account appear to show he spent more than $3,200 on three types of firearms he bought in June through a Dallas gun distributor.

Many of Garcia’s other posts were misogynistic, railing against women and parroting language used in incel, or involuntary celibate, communications. In the posts, Garcia referred to specific incel forums and valorized a gunman whose 2014 mass murder spree in Isla Vista, California, is celebrated in incel communities.

Authorities have not revealed a motive. A senior law enforcement source said the gunman’s social media site is part of the investigation.

More on the Texas mall shooting

The officials said the preliminary review found the gunman’s social media posts were not liked or shared by other users and stressed that the investigation continues.

An official said that authorities believe the shooter acted alone and that investigators continued to interview his relatives and friends.

Analyzing evidence

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are analyzing evidence seized at two locations in Dallas: his family’s home in a northeast neighborhood and at a hotel north of downtown.

The evidence that has been gathered suggests the shooter subscribed to a “mishmash” of ideologies, said a law enforcement official familiar with details of the investigation. But the official cautioned it may take weeks or months for agents to analyze the information to gain a more complete picture of his ideology.

Garcia has no criminal record that authorities were immediately aware of.

He joined the Army in June 2008 but was kicked out after three months for a physical or mental condition. He did not complete basic training, nor was he ever deployed or did he receive any awards, said Heather Hagan, an Army spokeswoman.

“We do not provide characterization of discharge for any soldier,” she added.

Authorities searched a home in a tree-lined neighborhood of Dallas connected with the gunman and his family. People could be seen coming and going from the residence; those who came to the door Monday declined to comment.

Texas shootings

The shooting in Allen came barely a week after a man fatally shot five people in Cleveland, Texas, north of Houston, after a neighbor asked him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept. 

There have also been seven mass shootings in Texas since the elementary school massacre in Uvalde a year ago, in which 21 people were killed, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. This year has had an average of about one mass killing a week, the AP reported.

Texas Senate Democrats called on the GOP-led Legislature to pass new gun laws Monday, including restricting the age to own guns and closing gun show loopholes.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez tweeted Monday afternoon that House Bill 2744 passed the Community Safety Committee and will head to the House Calendar Committee. 

“Our voices are making a difference. The push to bring this bill to the House floor continues,” he said. 

The bill is backed by families who lost loved ones in the Uvalde massacre. In that case, the gunman used an AR-15-style rifle he bought days after he turned 18. 

Allen, about 25 miles north of downtown Dallas and with a population of about 105,000, is among the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s diverse suburbs.

The community also is connected to another of Texas’ recent mass shootings. A man lived there in 2019 before he posted a racist screed online that warned of a “Hispanic invasion” and drove to El Paso, where he opened fire at a Walmart, killing 23 people. The 24-year-old gunman pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and weapons charges in February.

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