Allen, TX

Allen Mall Mass-Shooting: Another Dreadful Day in Texas' History

Ilsa Z.

Ironically being the epitome of power and progress, the United States has had over 199 shooting incidents this year alone; and it hasn't even been mid-year. All these shootings caused people to lose their lives and their loved ones. This dread has now become a new norm for the US and its residents.

A Day Out Turned into Chaos

Allen, located 20 kilometers North of Central Dallas, Texas, is usually a peaceful and happy place. There are over 105,000 residents that enjoy a healthy lifestyle and are generally safe in their space. The Allen Premium Outlet Mall is mostly full of people as it comprises around 120 stores, from high-end brands like Tory Burch to economical brands like H&M.

Saturday afternoon, while the Mall was buzzing with people and shopaholics, a mysterious man dressed in all black entered the scene. Witnesses reported that he was wearing a black outfit with a vest and combat gear. However, his appearance was not the only thing shady about him. As he reached the H&M outlet, he abruptly started shooting the people around him, killing at least eight while several were wounded.

One of the witnesses said, "I heard ten pops go off, then 10 to 15 more shots. We see a guy dressed in all black, a vest, just shooting at people." Tony Wright, an Allen resident who lives nearby the mall, said he was traveling in his car when the shooting happened. When his family heard the shots at home, he added, "Everyone thought it was hammering," confusing the firing with construction. Later when they realized what was happening, they called Tony to check if he was doing fine.

The Brave Police Shot the Suspect

People became frantic and started to move toward the parking space and exit doors. Some spectators believed the victims were children as young as five, lying lifeless on the floor with their bodies drenched in blood. The gunshots went on for some time when police, who were at the site on an unrelated task, found the gunman and shot him dead before he could proceed with causing more harm

A Black Day for the City

The shooting had begun at 3:30 pm, and the swift action by the policeman saved many lives. Mayor of Allen, Ken Fulk, called the incident a tragic day for the city. He added to his statement on the city's website: "I want to commend our police and fire department for their quick response. Their thorough training not to hesitate to move towards threat likely saved more lives today." It was an appreciation true to its core.

Jonathan Boyd, the Allen Fire Chief, stated that seven people, including the gunman, had died on the spot, while three died later at the hospital. Boyd further said, "Of those that were transported (injured victims), two have since died. Three are in critical surgery, and four are stable." However, the latest information on these victims has not been revealed yet.

The "Unspeakable Tragedy" of Allen

Medical City Healthcare spokesperson reported to the media that all the victims brought into the trauma facilities for treatment ranged from the ages of five up to 61. This tragedy has therefore become the second deadliest mass shooting of the year. After the suspect was killed, security forces checked the whole mall to find another suspect. But it was concluded that the gunman was acting alone. His vehicle was also sifted through by bomb-diffusing squads as part of security protocols.

Many video footages have been circulating around media where people can be seen frantically evacuating the mall. One of the footage was taken right after the gunman was shot dead. The rifle near his body was identified as being an AK-15. The identity of the suspect, however, has not been revealed yet. Security and officials arrived at the crime scene within minutes of the tragedy. Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, said it was a day of "unspeakable tragedy" for the city.

The recurrent mass shootings in the United States have become a significant source of concern for the safety and security of life of the citizens. The residents of Allen over the age of 21 have been allowed to keep unlicensed rifles, guns, and shotguns in their possession for many years now, keeping in view if they have not been law offenders in the past. But with the rising crime rate that has cost so many lives over the years, it is high time that these laws and legislations are reviewed again.

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