HomeUSAWhat we know about the slain Texas mall massacre suspect, Mauricio Garcia

What we know about the slain Texas mall massacre suspect, Mauricio Garcia

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DALLAS — The gunman who killed at least eight people and wounded a half-dozen more at a Dallas-area outlet mall was a 33-year-old suspected neo-Nazi sympathizer, two senior law enforcement officials said Sunday.

Allen police on Sunday identified the shooter as Mauricio Garcia. Garcia was killed Saturday by a police officer who happened to be at Allen Premium Outlets, about 25 miles north of Dallas, police said.

The gunman, who lived in Dallas, was armed with an “AR-15 style assault weapon,” President Joe Biden said.

He was wearing a tactical vest and also had a handgun, one of the senior law enforcement officials said.

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More weapons and ammunition were found in his car, the source said. At the time of the massacre, he was wearing a patch on his chest that included the acronym “rwds,” according to two senior law enforcement officials. Authorities believe the letters stand for “right wing death squad,” a phrase used in far-right online spaces, one of the senior law enforcement officials added.

A preliminary review of what is believed to be the shooter’s social media accounts reveal hundreds of posts that include racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist rhetoric, including neo-Nazi material and material espousing white supremacy, two senior law enforcement officials said.

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

Police and the Texas Rangers, working with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are investigating the shooting as a case of racial or ethnically motivated violent extremism, two senior law enforcement officials said.

Authorities believe the shooter acted alone, one of the officials said. Investigators are interviewing his relatives and friends.

It was the second deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. this year and the second in Texas in a little over a week.

A next-door neighbor of the suspect, who asked to be identified only as Julie, said she would see Garcia going to and coming home from work every day like clockwork.

“He tried to acknowledge us but seemed a little off,” Julie said. “He wasn’t somebody you could carry a conversation with.”

Julie said she was stunned when she learned the suspect’s identity.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out,” she said.

Another neighbor, Gilda Bailey, said three police squad cars were parked outside his house when she got home. She said that they would not let the suspect’s relatives inside the residence and that she later saw the FBI removing items from Garcia’s home.

“I don’t understand what triggered him,” Bailey said.

Another neighbor said living so close to a suspected mass killer was “chilling.”

“Just the thought of living a few houses down from someone who can do this can be a little scary and give you more caution,” said Moises Carreon, 52. “I don’t know why people want to shoot innocent people for any reason.”

Deon J. Hampton reported from Dallas. Jonathan Dienst and Corky Siemaszko reported from New York, and Ken Dilanian reported from Washington.

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