A 6-year-old boy has lost his entire family in the mass shooting that occurred in Allen, Texas, on Saturday.
According to a GoFundMe page that was created on Monday, the child, William Cho, was the lone survivor among his family after they were fatally shot at the Allen Premium Outlets by 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia who killed eight people and injured several others. Garcia was ultimately shot and killed by an Allen Police Department officer who was at the mall for an unrelated call.
“On Saturday, May 6th, Cindy, Kyu, William and James Cho visited the Allen outlet mall together in North Texas. William just celebrated his 6th birthday 4 days prior and James is 3. An afternoon that should have been filled with light, love and celebration unfortunately was cut short by another mass shooting massacre that left 8 victims dead. Cindy, Kyu and three year old James were among those victims that tragically lost their lives and the family is in deep mourning. After being released from the ICU, their six year old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event,” the GoFundMe page states.
Saturday’s incident marked the 17th mass shooting in Texas this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks gun violence across the United States.
The Allen Police Department said on Saturday that it first responded to the sounds of gunshots at the mall at around 3:36 p.m. local time.
“The officer engaged the suspect and neutralized the threat. He then called for emergency personnel,” the department wrote in a series of tweets. “Nine victims were transported to local hospitals by Allen Fire Department. A multi-agency response helped secure the mall. There is no longer an active threat. A reunification point has been created on Chelsea Boulevard.”
Later on Sunday afternoon, the Texas Department of Public Safety, who is leading the investigation into the incident, released a statement about the fatal shooting.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety extends our deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and citizens who were affected by the shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets. The Allen Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Texas Rangers, and Texas Department of Public Safety are conducting a joint investigation and providing continued security at the Allen Premium Outlet,” the press release said.
Newsweek reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety via email for further comment.
While police have yet to identify each of the victims killed in the shooting, local news station WFAA reported that 20-year-old Christian LaCour, who was a security guard at the mall, and 27-year-old Aishwarya Thatikonda were two other victims that were killed, citing family members who confirmed their identities.
In addition, multiple media outlets over the weekend reported that Garcia was under investigation for suspected ties to right-wing extremist ideologies sparked by a patch on his tactical vest that had an acronym for the phrase, “Right Wing Death Squad.” Others familiar with the investigation told outlets like The Washington Post that they suspected Garcia may even have had white supremacist or neo-Nazi beliefs.