Several people were shot at at a Dallas-area outlet mall
ALLEN, Texas (AP) — Several people were shot dead at an outlet mall in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, Texas on Saturday, causing hundreds of shoppers to flee in panic from the latest gun violence to hit the country.
Calls about gunshots came in from All Premium Outlets around 3:40 p.m. An Allen Police dispatcher confirmed that the department is investigating a shooting but could not say more.
WFAA-TV reported that local police said there were multiple victims, including children. Her condition was not immediately known, but the WFAA reported that the Collin County Sheriff said the gunman was dead.
A crowd of hundreds of people who had shopped stood outside across the street from the mall on Saturday night. Officers walked between them and asked if anyone saw what happened.
Fontayne Payton, 35, was at H&M when he heard gunfire through the headphones he was wearing.
“It was so loud it sounded like it was right outside,” Payton said.
People at the store dispersed before staff ushered the group into the changing rooms and then into a locked back room, he said. When they were given the green light to go, Payton saw that the store had broken windows and a trail of blood on the door. Discarded sandals and bloody clothes lay nearby.
Payton saw bodies outside.
“I pray it wasn’t kids, but it looked like kids,” he said. The bodies were covered in white towels and slumped over bags on the floor, he said.
“It broke me going out to see that,” he said.
Farther away he saw the body of a heavyset man dressed all in black. He assumes it’s the shooter, Payton said, because unlike the other bodies, it wasn’t covered up.
Stan and Mary Ann Greene were browsing the Columbia athletic wear store when filming began.
“We had just walked in a few minutes earlier and just heard a lot of loud banging,” Mary Ann Greene told The Associated Press. “I said, ‘Was that gunshots?’ ”
Staff immediately rolled down the security gate and took everyone to the back of the store until police arrived and escorted them out, Greens said.
Eber Romero was at the Under Armor store when a cashier mentioned that there had been a shooting.
When he left the store, Romero said, the mall appeared to be empty and all the stores had their security gates down. That’s when he started seeing broken glass and shot people on the ground.
Video shared on social media showed people running through a parking lot as gunfire was heard.
More than 30 police cruisers with blue lights blocked an entrance to the mall while several ambulances were at the scene.
A live air feed from the news channel showed armored trucks and other police vehicles stationed outside the sprawling outdoor mall.
Ambulances from several neighboring cities moved out on site.
The Dallas bureau of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.
Allen, a suburb about 40 kilometers north of downtown Dallas, has a population of about 105,000.