What to know about mass shooting at Texas mall

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A gunman opened fire at a mall near Dallas, Texas on Saturday, killing eight people before being shot and killed by police.

The shooting occurred in the Allen Premium Outlets, a mall outside of Dallas resulting in the deaths of eight victims with seven injured. An officer responding to an unrelated call at Allen Premium Outlets heard the gunshots and “neutralized” the shooter, police said, adding that they believe the gunman acted alone.

Officials have now opened an investigation into the shooting and are calling for the public’s assistance. The Dallas FBI bureau has launched a form asking for videos or photos taken during the shooting on Saturday with the aim of finding out more information.

Here’s what to know so far.

Eight victims dead, seven hospitalized

The shooter shot and killed eight victims in the shooting. Six victims, as well as the shooter, died at the scene, while two more died at an area hospital after succumbing to their injuries, police said.

As of Sunday morning, the Allen Police Department said that four victims were hospitalized at Medical City McKinney, where three of them remain in critical condition and one is in fair condition. The department said that another patient was transferred to Medical City Plano and is in fair condition, and another patient is at to Medical City Children’s Hospital and is also in fair condition.

Police also said that another victim was being treated at an area hospital, but did not provide an update on the victim’s injuries. The names of the victims of the shooting or the name of the shooter have not been released by officials yet.

Fontayne Payton, 35, was at H&M when the shooting happened, and told the Associated Press that he saw bodies after the shooting, including what he believes is the body of the shooter.

“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said.

Second mass shooting in Texas in about a week

This is the state’s second mass shooting in about a week, after a man shooting into his neighbor’s home shot and killed five people in the town of Cleveland after the family asked their neighbor to stop shooting his assault rifle in his yard.

President Biden confirmed in a statement Sunday that the gunman involved in the mall shooting on Saturday also used an assault rifle to carry out the attack. Biden used his statement as another chance to call for an assault weapons ban, saying that current gun laws are not enough.

“Yesterday, an assailant in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon gunned down innocent people in a shopping mall, and not for the first time. Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar,” he said.

How officials are responding

Allen Mayor Kenneth Fulk issued a statement Sunday saying that he has been in contact with Gov. Greg Abbott, the White House and other local and state officials who are investigating the attack.

“Today is a tragic day for the City of Allen, our citizens, our friends and visitors who were at the Allen Premium Outlets,” he said. “We are a strong and caring community and we want all of the victims and their families impacted by this tragedy to know that we will wrap our arms around you, and we are here for you.”

Abbott also said in a statement that he has been in contact with state and local officials to offer “the full support of the State of Texas.” He added that “Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy.”

Other Republican lawmakers echoed Abbott’s sentiments in response to the shooting, with many offering thoughts and prayers about the incident. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said on Twitter that he and his wife “are praying for the families of the victims of the horrific mall shooting in Allen, Texas.”

Biden blasted Republicans’ response to the shooting in his statement today, saying that “Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough.” He also ordered that government building fly their flags at half-staff in honor of the victims.

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