TO A three-year-old boy, two grade-school sisters, a young engineer from India and mall workers are among the eight people killed in last weekend’s mass shooting in Allen, Texas.
The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. local time at the busy Dallas-area Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday as families and friends were enjoying their weekends.
Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old former security guard believed to harbor neo-Nazi and white supremacist beliefs, drove into the mall armed with an AR-15-style rifle and opened fire on innocent shoppers and workers.
He was killed by a law enforcement officer who was on the scene and rushed to subdue the gunman.
Eight people died and another seven were injured.
Police have not revealed a possible motive behind the shooting, but the gunman was wearing a patch reading “RWDS,” which stands for “Right Wing Death Squad,” when he carried out the rampage.
Law enforcement sources told NBC News that Garcia, an Army veteran who worked as a security guard, had also posted neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online.
While no details have yet emerged about the gunman and what led up to the terror attack, the identities of those killed are coming to light.
This is what we know so far about the victims:
Christian LaCour, a security guard who worked at the mall, was identified as one of the people killed in the shooting of his family.
LaCour was 20 years old and had grown up in the nearby Farmersville area.
He was working as a security guard at the mall when he was shot dead on Saturday.
LaCour’s grandmother had posted on social media Saturday that his family could not reach him.
Later, she paid tribute to him in another post.
“She was such a beautiful soul,” he wrote. “She was so proud of him and so glad she saw him 2 weeks ago.”
LaCour’s family said they are still processing his passing and have been heartbroken to have to spread this news to others.
Aishwarya Thatikonda, a 26-year-old engineer who moved to the US from India, was also identified by relatives as one of the victims.
Thatikonda was shopping with a friend at the mall when the gunman shot and killed her, a family representative told WFAA.
Her friend was also shot and injured in the shooting and is currently in stable condition at the hospital.
Thatikonda’s family plans to take his body to India, where he has family.
Kyu Song Cho, Cindy Cho and James Cho
James Cho, 3, was among the eight killed in the shooting, along with his parents, Kyu Song Cho, 37, and Cindy Cho, 35, according to authorities.
His six-year-old brother was also present at the mall and suffered injuries, but survived and was released from the ICU. He is the only surviving member of the family.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by friends and family, the Cho family had gone to the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday to exchange clothes their six-year-old son had received as a birthday gift a few days earlier.
Family friends, who created the page, wrote that the evening, which was supposed to be “filled with light, love and celebration, was unfortunately interrupted by another mass massacre.”
The Cho family was identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Dallas Morning News The newspaper quoted Korean consulate officials as confirming that the Cho family were US citizens of Korean descent and that the diplomats are in contact with their relatives.
Daniela and Sofia Mendoza
Sisters Daniela, 11, and Sofia Mendoza, 8, were among those killed in the terror attack while shopping at the outlet mall with their mother.
The Wylie Independent School District honored the two elementary students from Cox Elementary School, who were in grades 4 and 2 respectively.
They were remembered by their school’s principal, Krista Wilson, as “the kindest, most caring students with smiles that could light up any room” in a letter to parents.
In a GoFundMe launched to help the family, organizer Anabel Del Angel revealed that her mother survived the attack but is still in the hospital.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share that our beautiful Daniela and Sofia have passed away. They were tragically taken from us by a senseless act on May 6, 2023. His mother is still hospitalized. We want to thank everyone who has reached out and offered their support and assistance. Pray for our now broken family,” she would say.
“The girls have left a void that nothing in the world could fill. Pray for his mother, my sister and her broken heart. Please also pray for his father, who despite all the trauma he has endured remains incredibly strong. They will be missed and loved forever.”
Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32, was the eighth victim identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety Monday night.
No further details about him have been released yet.