Allen mall shooter was armed with 8 weapons and had 'neo-Nazi ideation,' DPS officials say
The man who killed eight people and injured seven more in a shooting at Allen Premium Outlets Saturday was armed with eight weapons and had "neo-Nazi ideation," Texas Department of Public Safety officials said Tuesday.
Mauricio Garcia, 33, was carrying three weapons on his person and had five more in his car, all legally obtained, according to DPS Regional Director Hank Sibley said. He also prominently displayed racist and Nazi iconography, he said.
"He had patches," Sibley said. "He had tattoos, even his signature, you know, verified that. That's one thing we do know. We are trying to get into his computer and social media and find out, you know, whether he had any anything that he'd publicized."
But while Sibley acknowledged Garcia's racist beliefs, he stopped short of prescribing it as a motive.
"To me, it looks like he targeted the location rather than a specific group of people," Sibley told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. "He was very random in the people he killed — it didn't matter the age, same race or sex. He just shot people, which is horrific in itself."
Sibley also confirmed Garcia was a Dallas resident who had joined the U.S. Army in 2008. Garcia was discharged in the midst of his basic training for reasons because he was "not a fit," but Sibley said why is still part of their investigation. Garcia had no criminal history, Sibley said, but had a private security license that was expired.
Officials say the criminal investigation continues, which includes analyzing Garcia's electronic devices and digital media. Speculations about his motive and affiliations have circulated on social media.
Dashcam video shows the gunman, who police have identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, opened fire with an AR-15 style assault rifle at people walking on the sidewalk outside the mall. Garcia was killed on the scene by police.
Garcia, wearing tactical gear, had a patch on his chest when he was killed by police with the acronym "RWDS," which stands for Right Wing Death Squad, a phrase used by white supremacy groups, according to The Associated Press.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported Garcia’s posts on Russian social media site Odnoklassniki, or ok.ru, suggested he was planning the mass shooting weeks before it happened, uploading photos of the mall and of his Nazi tattoos that included a swastika and the SS lightning bolt logo of Hitler's military.
Sibley did not speak to whether Garcia dealt with mental illness, and did not confirm the presence of any manifesto.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey thanked the efforts of the unnamed police officer who heard the gunshots at 3:36 p.m. that day while on an unrelated call, as well as security guard Christian LaCour, who Harvey said led another person to safety and died in the shooting.
"We know our Allen community and many, many others are feeling the deep weight of grief from this tragedy," Harvey said. "We are heartbroken over the eight victims that were lost, the others who were wounded, and the hundreds of people who experienced this traumatic event firsthand."
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