8 people killed in mass shooting in Allen Mall, Texas

A three-year-old boy with his parents, two elementary school students and a young Indian engineer were identified as the victims of Saturday’s Texas shooting. According to reports, James Cho died along with his parents Cho Kyu Song, 37, and Kang Shin Young, 35, her six-year-old brother was injured but survived.

The identification came as officials investigated whether the killer had ties to far-right organizations or beliefs. Eight people were killed in the shooting.

Some of the victims are still being treated at the hospital. A verified GoFundMe page says the Cho family went to Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday to exchange clothes their six-year-old son had received as a birthday present a few days earlier.

Family friends wrote on the site: “An afternoon that should have been filled with light, love and celebration was regrettably cut short by yet another mass carnage.” South Korean consular officials in Texas told the Dallas Morning News that Cho’s family are Korean-American citizens and that the diplomats are in contact with their family members.

Elementary school students Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, two sisters, were also killed. According to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, their mother, Ida, is still hospitalized in critical condition.

Aishwarya Thatikonda, a 27-year-old Indian engineer, was also killed while visiting the mall with a friend, along with security guard Christian LaCour, 20.

Six people are believed to have died at the scene in a northern Dallas suburb, while two later died in hospital. The 33-year-old suspect, Mauricio Garcia, was shot dead by a police officer responding to an unrelated call, ending the attack. Investigators are now checking social media to look into the killer’s beliefs, CBS reported.

During the attack, the rifle-wielding attacker wore badges associated with hostile groups, as well as tactical combat gear.

An account run by the suspect on the Russian-based social network and seen by BBC News includes photos of Nazi swastikas and SS tattoos, other posts praising Nazis and rambling about violence.

He also posted photos from previous visits to the mall, most recently in mid-April. According to the US Department of Defense, the suspect enlisted in the US Army in June 2008 and was “discharged three months later without completing entrance training” due to a “physical or mental condition”.

He appeared to be working as a security guard at the time of the shooting and had no serious criminal record. Authorities searched his parents’ home and a nearby motel where he lived recently.

There have been 201 mass shootings this year according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines such incidents as four people being injured or killed. Those who came to help the victims after the shooting at the large outdoor shopping mall recalled their efforts to save lives.

Meanwhile, graphic videos of the scene went viral and were viewed millions of times on Twitter before the social media site began deleting footage more than 24 hours after the attack.

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