9 people were killed and others were wounded by gunfire in a shooting incident in a shopping center in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, USA.
The number of infected people inside the Allen Premium Outlets mall, which is located 25 miles northeast of Dallas, was not disclosed.
Footage broadcast by local media showed police officers rushing to remove shoppers from the mall, and police cars and emergency vehicles parked near the entrances.
Mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States, and the number of such incidents has reached at least 198 so far this year, the most so far this year since 2016.
|9 people were killed in a shooting in a mall on the outskirts of Dallas, USA
Mass murders are occurring at an astounding rate in the United States this year: about once a week.
Police say a shooting at a Dallas-area mall left nine people dead and several others injured.
A gunman got out of a silver sedan and began shooting people at a mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday, sending hundreds of shoppers fleeing in panic in the latest gun violence to grip the country.
Witnesses at Allen Premium Outlets told the Associated Press that they saw several victims, including some who appeared to be children, and that they saw a police officer and the mall's security guard who appeared to be unconscious on the floor.
Allen police said in a Facebook post that nine victims had been taken to hospitals. Medical City Health Care, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement that it treats eight people, ages 5 to 61.
Dashcam video circulating on the Internet showed a gunman getting out of a car outside the mall and immediately starting shooting at people on the sidewalk. More than thirty shots are heard as the car recording the video drives away.
The police department wrote on Facebook that an Allen police officer was in the area on an unrelated call when he heard gunshots at 3:36 p.m.
The sole suspect officer confronted the threat. Then call emergency personnel. Nine victims were taken to local hospitals by the Allen Fire Department, the agency wrote in a Facebook post. "There is no longer an active threat."
Mass murders are happening at an astounding pace in the United States this year: an average of about once a week, according to an analysis of AP/USA Today data.
The White House said President Biden was briefed on the shooting and that the administration offered support to local officials. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed laws easing gun restrictions after previous mass shootings, called it an "unspeakable tragedy."
A crowd of hundreds of people shopping outside stood across the street from the mall on Saturday night. Agents circulated among themselves, asking if anyone saw what had happened.
Fontaine Payton, 35, was at H&M when she heard gunshots through the headphones she was wearing.
"There was a lot of noise like I was outside," Payton said.
He said the people in the store dispersed before employees led the group into the fitting rooms and then into a lockable back room. When they were given the go-ahead to leave, Payton saw that the store had broken windows and a streak of blood running up to the door. Sandals and bloodstained clothes lay nearby.
Outside, Payton saw the dead bodies.
“I pray to God they weren’t children, but they looked like children,” she said. He said the bodies were covered in white towels, and laid out in sacks on the floor.
“It broke me when I came out to see that,” he said.
In the distance, he saw the corpse of a burly man dressed all in black. Payton said he assumed it was the shooter, because unlike the other bodies, he was not covered.
Tarakreem Nonna, 25, and Ramakrishna Molapudi, 26, said they saw what appeared to be three motionless people on the ground, including one who appeared to be a police officer and another who appeared to be the mall's security guard.
Another shopper, Sharky Molly, 24, said he hid in a Banana Republic store during the shooting. When she left, she saw what appeared to be an unconscious police officer lying beside another unconscious person outside the store.
“I saw his gun next to him and a guy passing out passing by,” Molly said.
Stan and Mary Ann Green were browsing the sportswear store in Columbia when the shooting began.
"We just walked in, just two minutes ago, and we heard a lot of loud explosions," Mary Ann Green told the Associated Press.
Al-Khader said the employees immediately lowered the security gate and took everyone to the back of the store until the police arrived and escorted them outside.
Iber Romero was at the Under Armor store when the cashier reported that there was a shooting.
When I left the store, Romero said, the mall appeared empty and all the stores had their security doors closed. It was then that he began to see broken glass and people who had been shot on the ground.
A video clip circulating on social media showed people running in a parking lot as gunshots rang out.
More than 30 police squad cars with flashing lights blocked the entrance to the mall, and several ambulances were at the scene.
A live broadcast from the news station showed armored vehicles and other police vehicles parked outside the sprawling open-air mall.
Ambulances from several neighboring cities arrived at the scene.
The Dallas office of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also reported.
Allen, a suburb 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of downtown Dallas, has a population of about 105,000.
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