Nine people shot, wounded at mall in Allen, Texas; gunman dead | Crime News

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Police confirm fatalities, but say they are not able to confirm how many people died at the shooting in Allen, a suburb of the city of Dallas.

A gunman has shot and wounded multiple people at a busy shopping mall in the city of Dallas in the United States, killing an unknown number of people.

Emergency officials said at least nine wounded people, including children, were rushed to hospitals in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday.

The gunman, whom authorities said they believe acted alone, was killed by a police officer after he began firing outside of the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, a suburb north of Dallas, the police said.

“He heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect and neutralised the suspect,” the city’s police chief Brian Harvey said at a press conference. “He also then called for ambulances.”

Harvey confirmed there had been fatalities but declined to give a death toll, saying “we do not have an accurate count”.

Allen fire department chief Jon Boyd told the same press conference that his department took at least nine victims with gunshot wounds to area hospitals. He did not say what condition the victims were in, and added there could have been more people wounded.

Medical City Healthcare, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement it was treating eight people between the ages of 5 and 61.

Their conditions were unknown.

Shoppers leave as law enforcement officers respond to a shooting in the Dallas area's Allen Premium Outlets
Shoppers evacuate as law enforcement officers respond to a shooting in the Dallas area’s Allen Premium Outlets in this still image from video [ABC Affiliate WFAA via Reuters]

TV aerial images showed hundreds of people calmly walking out of the mall, located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Dallas, after the violence unfolded, many with their hands up as scores of police stood guard.

The footage also showed blood on sidewalks outside the mall and white sheets covering what appeared to be bodies.

Fontayne Payton, 35, told the Associated Press news agency that he was at the H&M store when he heard the sound of gunshots through the headphones he was wearing.

“It was so loud, it sounded like it was right outside,” Payton said.

People in the store scattered before employees ushered the group into the fitting rooms and then a lockable back room, he said. When they were given the all-clear to leave, Payton saw the store had broken windows and a trail of blood to the door. Discarded sandals and bloodied clothes were laying nearby.

Once outside, Payton saw bodies.

“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said. The bodies were covered in white towels, slumped over bags on the ground, he said.

“It broke me when I walked out to see that,” he said.

Further away, he saw the body of a heavyset man wearing all black. He assumed it was the shooter, Payton said, because unlike the other bodies it had not been covered up.

A second unidentified eyewitness told local ABC affiliate WFAA TV that the gunman was “walking down the sidewalk just … shooting his gun outside,” and that “he was just shooting his gun everywhere for the most part”.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, calling the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy,” said in a written statement that the state was prepared to offer any assistance local authorities may need.

Allen, Texas, is a 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 people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.

The US has the highest rate of gun deaths of any developed country, with 49,000 recorded in 2021, up from 45,000 the year before.

Sumber: www.aljazeera.com

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