A gunman shot and killed nine people and wounded seven more at a popular shopping mall in north Dallas, Texas, police said.
CNN reported that some of the victims were children under the age of five. Allen City Police Chief Brian Harvey said a police officer was inside the station, responding to a separate report, when the shooting began around 3:30 p.m. (20:30 GMT).
Harvey added that the officer “heard the shots and went to their source, where he engaged the suspect and neutralized him,” adding, “Then he called an ambulance.” Harvey confirmed there were deaths, but declined to give a number, stating, “We don’t have an accurate count.” For his part, Jonathan Boyd, Allen’s head of firefighting, said his department “delivered nine casualties to area hospitals.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the mass shooting “an unspeakable tragedy.” According to CNN, authorities initially thought the second shooter might be at Allen Premium Elites, a huge shopping complex in the city of Allen, 40 kilometers north of Dallas.
Police have combed the mall’s stores, and drone photos and videos show shoppers and store employees rushing to the parking lots. Harvey later indicated that police believed the unidentified shooter, who CNN said was wearing a military uniform, “acted alone.”
There have been more than 195 mass shootings in the states this year, according to the Archive of Gun Violence. With more firearms than population, the United States has the highest firearm death rate of any developed country, with 49,000 firearm deaths recorded in 2021, up from 45,000 last year.