Police have confirmed an unspecified number of fatalities in a shooting at a mall in a Dallas suburb. At least eight people between the ages of five and 61 were brought to hospitals.
The shootings took place on Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets mall about 25 miles (40km) north-east of Dallas.
The shooter was dead at the scene, local ABC affiliate WFAA TV reported, citing the Collin county sheriff.
“He pretty much was walking down the sidewalk just … shooting his gun outside,” a witness told the station. “He was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part.”
Video footage from local media showed police officers hurrying shoppers out of the mall, with squad cars and emergency vehicles parked near entries.
Blood could be seen on sidewalks outside the mall and white sheets covering what appeared to be bodies. At least one cellphone video taken by someone outside the mall and circulated on social media showed what appeared to be multiple dead people.
Allen police department and Collin county officials were not immediately available to comment.
“Law enforcement is on the scene at Allen Premium Outlets,” the Allen police department said in a Twitter post. “An active investigation is under way. Please avoid the area until further update.”
The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, calling the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy”, said in a written statement that the state was prepared to provide any assistance local authorities in Allen may need.
Allen is a Texas community of about 100,000 people.
Mass shootings have become commonplace in the US, with at least 198 so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more victims are wounded or killed.
Congress has not been able to pass substantial gun control despite the constant deadly mass shootings.
Texas allows its residents to legally carry guns without a license or training. Last August, a federal judge struck down a Texas law raising the legal age for people to carry handguns from 18 to 21.
In 2019, a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killed 23 people. A shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Abbott, a Republican, has supported keeping guns as accessible to the public as possible. That is the case even as a recent poll commissioned by Fox News, whose viewers are largely Republican, found that American voters favor gun control measures and worry that they will be victimized by firearms violence.
With Reuters and Associated Press
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