A mass shooting at an outlet mall in Dallas left at least 9 dead and 7 injured
AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:
It's another day in America with news of another mass shooting, this time just outside of Dallas. A gunman opened fire on shoppers at an outlet mall. Now nine people, including the shooter, are dead, and at least five are hospitalized. Member station KERA's Katherine Hobbs joins us now with the latest. Hi, Katherine.
KATHERINE HOBBS, BYLINE: Good morning.
RASCOE: So this shooting happened in Allen, Texas, yesterday afternoon. What do we know this morning?
HOBBS: Right now, there's a lot of information - photos, videos, etc. - circulating on social media. But, of course, we're still waiting to get more details confirmed by the city of Allen and their police department. At last night's press conference, Allen's chief of police, Brian Harvey, said that an officer was responding to an unrelated call at the outlets when the shooting took place.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
BRIAN HARVEY: He heard gunshots, located the shooter, neutralized the shooter, neutralized the threat. We believe at this point that the shooter acted alone.
HOBBS: When I left the scene, police dogs were still working. SWAT was still on-site, along with many police officers and a handful of other first responders. Tonight, there will be a vigil at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen, Texas.
RASCOE: And what's been the response from officials there?
HOBBS: So at last night's press conference, we heard from a handful of officials. All of them applauded first responders for their swift action. And they also asked the community to hold the victims and their families in prayer. We heard from Allen Mayor Ken Fulk, and he said that he's heard from the White House, from Governor Abbott and many other municipalities, and they're all offering support. They're also asking that anyone who has details call 1-800-CALL-FBI as this is an ongoing active investigation.
RASCOE: And you talked to witnesses at the scene. What did you hear from them?
HOBBS: I did. When I arrived at the scene, most of the witnesses were gathered at a nearby gas station. The entire mall was being swept, so it was fully shut down, and most people didn't have access to their cars. All the folks I spoke to there were shaken up, as I'm sure you can imagine. One man who gave me a good bit of info was Colin Polikipo (ph). And he sheltered in place inside a Tory Burch store while the shooter opened fire.
COLIN POLIKIPO: We all just kind of knew what to do because this happens so often.
HOBBS: And when he was guided out by police, he said that he saw bodies on the ground soaked in blood.
RASCOE: You know, saying everyone knew what to do because it happens so often, it's still - it's just so disheartening. Now, you mentioned that the man we just heard saw victims of the shooting. People are also seeing videos online from the scene there in Allen, Texas. Is there anything investigators can learn from those videos?
HOBBS: Absolutely, yeah. Police are looking at all of that right now. The videos circulating have shown a man leaving his car and opening fire with what appears to be an assault-style rifle. We've also seen video that appears to show the shooter on the ground with his weapon next to him with lots of extra ammunition. Colin Polikipo, who I spoke with, one of the witnesses, confirmed that that's what he saw when he evacuated. We're also seeing videos showing children among the victims, but the city of Allen hasn't released demographic information confirming the victims' identities yet.
RASCOE: What kind of help is there for people affected by this shooting? This was at a mall. Anyone could just be at a mall, and now they have to live with this.
HOBBS: Absolutely. Yeah. Around 7 p.m., I started seeing Red Cross workers arrive, and they were going around with witnesses, checking in with them. They were gathering a list of people who needed hotel accommodations or meals. And they were also providing meals to firefighters and other first responders.
RASCOE: That's reporter Katherine Hobbs of member station KERA in Dallas. Katherine, thank you so much.
HOBBS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.