Nine people, including the suspect, are dead after a shooting Saturday at a Dallas-area outlet mall, authorities said.
Seven people died on scene at Allen Premium Outlets and two more were pronounced dead at a hospital, Allen Fire Department Chief Jonathan Boyd said.
Three people remained in critical condition on Saturday night and four were stabilized, Boyd said.
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said earlier Saturday that the suspected shooter was “neutralized” by a city police officer who was responding to an unrelated call at the mall, he said.
Janet St. James, a spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare, a North Texas healthcare provider, said it received eight patients from the shooting who range in age from 5 to 61.
Officials have not released the names of the people who were killed.
Law enforcement responded to reports of an “active shooter” at Allen Premium Outlets at 3:36 p.m., officials said. Allen is a city about 30 miles north of Dallas.
Video taken by witness Denison De Souza from the parking lot showed people taking cover and others running into traffic as the sound of nearly a dozen distinct shots could be heard. Other videos posted to social media show similar scenes.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives described the situation as an “active shooter incident,” and said it was responding to the mall.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, the White House said in a statement. The White House was “closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with law enforcement and local officials to offer support,” the statement added.
There was very little information available on the suspect, whose identity has not been publicly released.
Speaking at an early evening news conference, Harvey said, “We believe he acted alone and we don’t believe that there’s another threat at this time.”
A silver sedan on the property appeared to have been shot and was in an area cordoned off by investigators, according to coverage from NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Responding law enforcement officers helped shoppers evacuate and cleared each retailer to ensure no dangers remained, according to witness accounts.
Multiple mall shoppers and employees said they heard gunfire and took cover where they could before fleeing or barricading themselves in back rooms.
Stan and Mary Ann Greene were browsing in the Columbia sportswear store when the shooting started.
“We had just gotten in, just a couple minutes earlier, and we just heard a lot of loud popping,” Mary Ann Greene told the Associated Press.
Employees immediately rolled down the security gate and brought everyone to the rear of the store until police arrived and escorted them out, the Greenes said.
Several witnesses reported seeing bodies, some of which they said were covered.
Tarakram Nunna and Ramakrishna Mullapudi told the Associated Press they saw what appeared to be three people lying motionless on the ground.
Gov. Greg Abbott called the situation an “unspeakable tragedy.”
“Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy,” he said.
The full support of the state was being made available to Allen officials and first responders, Abbott said. Resources include officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, and investigative assistance.
Allen police said the attack was still under investigation and that people should continue to stay away from the shopping center.
In a separate statement overnight, Allen Mayor Ken Fulk said he believes a rapid response by police and firefighters increased survivors. “Their thorough training not to hesitate to move toward the threat likely saved more lives today,” he said.
The nonprofit organization LULAC, or League of United Latin American Citizens, said it’s calling on Abbott and other state officials to convene an emergency meeting Monday in Austin to address gun violence and regulations.
“We must stop this epidemic of killings by declaring that Texas is taking immediate steps to prevent more mass shootings that are becoming all too frequent,” LULAC national president Domingo Garcia said in the group’s statement.
The FBI has asked anyone with information or tips about the shooting to report them to the agency.
The shopping center operated by Simon Property Group occupies 69 acres and houses more than 120 retailers. The company thanked police who stopped the suspected shooter and first responders.
“We are horrified by today’s senseless tragedy and outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country,” it said in a statement Saturday night.
The shooting came barely a week after a man fatally shot five people in Cleveland, Texas, after a neighbor asked him to stop firing his weapon while a baby slept.
This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com
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