Hundreds of terrified shoppers fled in panic after a gunman stepped out of a silver sedan and opened fire at a Dallas-area outlet mall, killing eight and wounding seven before being killed by a police officer, authorities said.
Second in a week
The shooting in Allen, Texas, on Saturday was the latest eruption of what has been an unprecedented pace of mass killings in the US. Barely a week before, authorities say, a man fatally shot five people in Cleveland, Texas, after a neighbour asked him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept.
Police did not immediately provide details about the victims at Allen Premium Outlets, a sprawling outdoor shopping centre, but witnesses reported seeing children among them. Some said they also saw what appeared to be a police officer and a mall security guard unconscious on the ground.
A disturbing trend
Mass killings are happening with staggering frequency in the US this year: an average of about one per week, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.
At least 198 mass shootings have been reported so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.
Gun restrictions eased
President Biden was briefed on the shooting in Allen and the administration offered support to local officials, the White House said.
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has signed laws easing firearms restrictions following past mass shootings, called the mall shooting an “unspeakable tragedy”.