Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Texas mall shooting: Gunman kills eight people in Allen shopping centre –

A gunman shot and killed eight people, including children, at a shopping mall north of Dallas on Saturday.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Allen Premium Outlets mall as eyewitnesses described a man firing indiscriminately at passers-by.
A police officer on an unrelated call killed the gunman after hearing shots. Police have yet to identify him.
President Joe Biden on Sunday called once again for Congress to tighten gun controls in the wake of the tragedy.
He said the attacker, using an AR-15 style assault weapon, gunned down innocents in "the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation".
"Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar," he added, calling on Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and require universal background checks.
As of Sunday morning local team, at least three surviving victims were in critical condition, police said.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said seven people – including the gunman – were pronounced dead at the scene and two died later in hospital.
The victims' ages range from 5 to 51, according to a hospital spokesperson.
A police officer at the mall "heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect and neutralised the suspect," Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said.
Some witnesses described the gunman as dressed all in black and wearing combat gear. Footage taken after the gunman's death appeared to show an AR-15 style rifle lying near his body.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the shooting as an "unspeakable tragedy" and said the state was ready to offer any assistance to local authorities.
US police have asked members of the public with video captured at the scene to contact the FBI, as they collect evidence.
"I heard about 10 pops go off, then ten to fifteen more shots – we see this guy dressed all in black, a vest, just shooting at people," said one witness, adding "we just got to the back of the store".
Video from the scene showed people running for cover across a car park as a series of shots rang out.
Allen has about 105,000 residents and is 20 miles (32km) north of central Dallas.
President Biden on Sunday ordered US flags be flown at half-mast at federal buildings, military posts and American embassies until sunset on Thursday as he made his plea for tighter gun controls.
Republicans in Congress are unlikely to back such a call, and gun ownership with few restrictions enjoys widespread support in Texas itself.
Most adults aged 21 or over in Texas are allowed to carry a handgun without a licence, unless they have a previous conviction. In addition, there are few restrictions on possession of rifles and shotguns. Republicans control the Texas state legislature.
In the US so far this year there have been at least 198 mass shootings in which four or more people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That is the most at this point in the year since at least 2016.
One eyewitness at the mall, Fontayne Payton, told the AP news agency he heard gunshots though his headphones as he shopped at H&M.
When people were allowed to leave the mall, he described seeing bodies outside.
"I pray it wasn't kids, but it looked like kids," he said. "It broke me when I walked out to see that."
Allen Mayor Ken Fulk called it "a tragic day" for the city. "Allen is a proud and safe city, which makes today's senseless act of violence even more shocking," he said on the city's website.
"However, I want to commend our police and fire departments for their quick response. Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today."
Texas Senator John Cornyn tweeted that he was "grieving with the Allen community" and praised the quick response of "all of those involved in responding to this afternoon's horrific incident".
Earlier this week police in Texas arrested a man accused of shooting dead five neighbours, including a nine-year-old boy.
Francisco Oropesa was found hiding in a cupboard after a four-day manhunt.
The Oscar-winning actor is accused of groping a woman after agreeing to take a photo with her.
A husband and wife died in a fireball as their vehicle hurtled into a checkpoint at Rainbow Bridge.
Stuart Seldowitz was filmed calling a halal cart vendor a terrorist in a clip New York's mayor called "vile".
Surveillance video shows the speeding vehicle go airborne before an explosion that killed two people.
The target of the foiled plot was Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the Financial Times reports.
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