Texas mall horrific shooting incident

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A law enforcement officer walks as people are evacuated from a shopping center where a shooting occurred Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Allen, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A gunman shot and killed eight people, including children, at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday. The attacker, using an AR-15 style assault weapon, gunned down innocents in what President Joe Biden called “the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation.” He urged Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and require universal background checks. As of Sunday morning, at least three surviving victims were in critical condition. The victims’ ages range from 5 to 51. The police officer at the mall “heard gunshots, went to the gunshots, engaged the suspect and neutralized the suspect,” Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said. The Texas governor called it an “unspeakable tragedy,” and US flags were ordered to be flown at half-mast at federal buildings, military posts, and American embassies until sunset on Thursday. Republicans in Congress are unlikely to back calls for tighter gun control, and gun ownership with few restrictions enjoys widespread support in Texas itself. In the US so far this year, there have been at least 198 mass shootings in which four or more people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

One witness described seeing a man dressed all in black, wearing combat gear, and shooting indiscriminately at passers-by. Footage taken after the gunman’s death appeared to show an AR-15 style rifle lying near his body. Allen Mayor Ken Fulk called it “a tragic day” for the city and commended the police and fire departments for their quick response. Texas Senator John Cornyn tweeted that he was “grieving with the Allen community” and praised the quick response of “all of those involved in responding to this afternoon’s horrific incident.”

The tragedy once again raises concerns about gun violence in the US and the need for tighter gun control laws. However, with Republicans in Congress unlikely to support such a call and widespread support for gun ownership with few restrictions in Texas, it remains to be seen whether any significant changes will be made. Meanwhile, the families of the victims and the Allen community continue to grieve for their loved ones and struggle to come to terms with this senseless act of violence.

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