A gunman opened fire Saturday afternoon at a Texas outlet mall, killing eight people and wounding seven.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said an officer at Allen Premier Outlets on an unrelated call heard the gunshots when they began at about 3:30 p.m. and located the source. Harvey said he “neutralized the shooter.”
“We believe at this point the shooter acted alone,” he said.
Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said medical services found seven people dead at the scene, including the gunman, and transported nine more to the hospital, where two succumbed to their injuries.
Of the remaining seven, Boyd said three were in critical condition and four stable. Medical City Healthcare told WFAA victims ranged from 5 to 61.
Harvey and Boyd spoke at a news conference with elected officials late Saturday night, but they took no questions and provided no other information about the tragedy that sent hundreds of shoppers scrambling for safety in the middle of a busy afternoon.
Earlier, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner told WFAA that children were among those shot, and several witnesses told the station they saw the shooter, who was dressed in all black.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the mall and walked across the street to a parking lot, where they waited for someone to pick them up or to be allowed back to the mall to pick up their vehicles. Reporters noted seeing bullet holes in vehicles and storefronts outside the mall.
Elaine Penicaro told KDFW that she was shopping with her daughter when the shots began.
“We were outside the Converse store and we just heard all this popping,” she said. “We kind of all just stopped, and then a second later, just ‘Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,’ and there were sparks flying like it was right in front of us.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement saying “our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy.”
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[Featured image: People raise their hands as they leave a shopping center following reports of a shooting on Saturday in Allen, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)]