As investigators search for a motive in the Texas mall shooting in which eight people were killed, social media posts believed to be connected to the suspect could provide insight into the 33-year-old’s mental state prior to Saturday’s shooting.
Police have identified Mauricio Garcia as the suspect behind the deadly mass shooting in Allen, Texas, in which seven others were wounded. Garcia was shot and killed by officers responding to the scene.
Investigators have not identified a motive, but several reports have surfaced that Garcia may have had links to right-wing extremist groups and racist ideologies. On Monday, The New York Times reported that officials were also examining a social media profile on the Russian social network, OK.RU, that investigators believe belonged to Garcia.
According to the Times, the profile matches Garcia’s birthday and refers to a motel where he stayed before the shooting. Several of the posts also include language that supports neo-Nazi groups and other far-right organizations, such as photos of a black tactical vest with a patch that reads “RWDS,” or “Right Wing Death Squad.” Reports have also surfaced of Garcia wearing a similar patch during Saturday’s shooting.
In one post read by Newsweek that was published on the same day as the shooting, the author of the profile in question also writes about their struggle with mental health. ABC News and its local Dallas affiliate, WFAA, previously reported that Garcia had served in the U.S. Army in 2008 but was removed after three months due to mental health concerns.
In the post, the author asks for forgiveness and writes, “This is just the way it has to be.” The owner of the profile also writes that they are “more scared about being confronted by friends and family” for not seeking psychological help.
“Even if I did go to a psychologist Their [sic] not going to be able to fix with whatevers [sic] wrong with me,” the post reads. “Besides that s***’s expensive.”
The post also includes what appears to be details about how the user wants their funeral to proceed, and ends with the phrase, “the only way to fight hate is with more hate.”
Photos posted by the account also included a screenshot from Google Maps showing what time the Allen outlet mall would likely be the busiest, the Times wrote.
Newsweek has reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety via email for additional information.
Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott has faced renewed calls for increased gun control in his state in light of Saturday’s mass shooting, but has previously said that restricting access to firearms would be unconstitutional, even though a bipartisan bill advanced in the Texas State House would raise the age limit on purchasing some semi-automatic guns.
During a press conference Monday, Abbott avoided talking about the recent shooting and the separate deadly incident in Brownsville on Sunday, instead criticizing plans by the administration of President Joe Biden to end Title 42 in the coming days.
When asked about the shooting in Allen, the governor told reporters at the event, “The first step to leading toward some type of resolution here, as well as providing information about the response needed from the state of Texas, is to know exactly why and how this happened.”
Abbott also spoke to Fox News on Sunday, emphasizing the need for increased mental health services as a way to address the root cause of gun violence.