Nine people died and seven others were injured on Saturday after a gunman opened fire at an outdoor mall north of Dallas, Texas, officials said.
The alleged gunman, who died after a confrontation with police, was among the seven people who were killed at the Allen Premium Outlets, the scene of the shooting, Allen Police Department officials said. Nine additional people were transferred to hospitals, where two later died, officials said. The hospitalized victims ages range from 5 to 61 years old, authorities said.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to the outlets in the Dallas suburb, where an active shooter incident had been reported.
“This is a tragedy. People will be looking for answers,” Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said during a press briefing. “We’re sorry that those families are experiencing that loss.”
An officer who was at the outlet mall on an unrelated call responded to the shooting around 3:36 p.m., Harvey said.
“He heard gunshots, went to the gunshots engaged the suspect and neutralized the suspect,” Harvey said.
The police chief said they believed the male shooter acted alone.
“We don’t believe that there’s another threat at this time,” Harvey said.
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene, according to spokespeople for the agencies. Police set up reunification areas nearby.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, according to a White House official.
Police have asked residents to avoid the area amid the investigation.
Aerial footage from the scene showed shoppers being evacuated from the stores, many with their arms raised in the air.
A woman was shopping when she says the shooting began and described how people began to flee for safety.
Elaine Penicaro said in an interview that she was finishing up her shopping when she heard “popping” noises and began to realize how dire the situation was.
“We saw sparks flying like it was right in front of us. So we just ran into the Converse store. They locked the door. We all hunkered down in the back. And that’s where we stayed,” she said.
Penicaro said she heard the police arrive within five to 10 minutes.
The shooter was killed at the scene, police said.
Allen Police Department Chief Brian Harvey said at a press briefing that an officer was at Allen Premium Outlets on an unrelated call when he heard gunshots and located the shooter who was then “neutralized.”
“We are asking for the public’s help if you are a witness,” Harvey said.