On Saturday, a gunman shot and killed eight people and wounded seven others before committing suicide in a shopping mall in Texas, US state authorities announced.
“We found seven people at the scene dead. We took nine more people to the hospital… Two of them have since died,” said Jonathan Boyd, fire chief of the Allen, suburb of Dallas, where the shooting occurred.
The indiscriminate shooting at the massive “Allen Premium Outlets” shopping center, which is 40 km north of Dallas and is crowded at the weekend, caused panic.
Police Chief Alan Brian Harvey said a police officer was at the shopping center with another problem unrelated to the incident when the shooting started around 3:30pm.
He added that the policeman “heard gunshots and went to the place and clashed with the suspect and managed to neutralize him,” after which he “called ambulances.”
The identity of the shooter was not revealed. His body was lying on the sidewalk when the police arrived. He is one of the nine dead in the mall.
Boyd said that “three of the wounded” who were transferred to a number of hospitals in the region “are undergoing critical surgeries,” while “the condition of the other four is stable.”
A hospital official told NBC News that some of the victims were as young as five years old.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting an “untold tragedy.”
A White House official told reporters that President Joe Biden “was briefed on the shooting.”
Local officials praised the action of the policeman, who responded to the shooter and killed him.
“We owe a debt of thanks to the first man who responded to gunfire and acted quickly to neutralize the threat,” Republican Senator Keith Self said.
In video footage broadcast by CNN, the shooter is seen getting out of a car in the shopping center garage and starting shooting.
The authorities first believed that a second attacker might be moving about freely.
While the police were combing the shops in the center, shoppers and staff rushed into the garage.