The second-deadliest US mass shooting of the year unfolded at a shopping mall in an affluent Texas suburb, leaving eight victims dead and investigators probing whether the killer may have been driven by right-wing extremism. Authorities have not announced a motive for why the gunman, 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets Saturday at Allen Premium Outlets – about 25 miles north of Dallas. Garcia served in the military for a brief period but was removed due to concerns about his mental health. Garcia, who was killed at the scene by an Allen police officer who was on a nearby call, was wearing an insignia that authorities believe may be associated with extremist groups. Investigators have unearthed an extensive social media presence, including neo-Nazi and White supremacist-related posts and images that authorities believe Garcia shared online. The US has suffered at least 202 mass shootings within the first five months of this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This source defines a “mass shooting” as one where more than four people are shot. The massacre in Allen is the second deadliest so far this year, behind the January mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, that left 11 people dead.
The indiscriminate slaughter marks yet another mass tragedy at a public place where many Americans had felt safe – such as schools, supermarkets, parks, and Fourth of July parades. It also came just three days after a shooter killed one woman and wounded four others in an Atlanta medical facility, and only a few weeks before Texas will mark a year since 19 children and two teachers were massacred by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The number of shootings happening every day is alarming. As more people are affected, there may be more of a push for gun control. However, if we lock down on gun control now, countless precious lives could be saved.