Texas Mall Shooter Wore 'Right Wing Death Squad' Patch

Sources say he may have held neo-Nazi beliefs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2023 12:40 AM CDT
Updated May 8, 2023 5:56 AM CDT
Texas Mall Shooter Wore 'Right Wing Death Squad' Patch
In this frame grab from video provided by WFAA, people are evacuated from Allen Premium Outlet, Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Allen, Texas. Law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting at the outlet mall, in the Dallas area.   (WFAA via AP)

The gunman who killed eight people and injured seven others in a shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday has been identified as Mauricio Garcia, 33, a resident of nearby Dallas. Garcia, who was fatally shot by a police officer, may have held neo-Nazi beliefs, sources tell the Washington Post. He was wearing a patch on his chest reading "RWDS," which stands for Right Wing Death Squad, a popular phrase among white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other right-wing extremists, the sources say. Views expressing interest in such groups were also posted on social media accounts linked to the shooter, sources tell the AP.

Authorities have not publicly speculated on a motive but the sources say the massacre is being investigated as a possible hate crime, and that the gunman's relatives and associates are being questioned about his beliefs and ideologies. He had worked as a commissioned security officer in the past, though his license expired in 2020, and underwent firearms training as part of that work. He carried out the slayings with an AR-15-style weapon, and had at least one other weapon on him and others in his car. He was wearing a tactical vest full of ammunition magazines. Neighbors of his family say he moved out of his parents' home earlier this year. "He just seemed to be aloof, kind of disconnected. But he wasn’t threatening," says one.

Meanwhile, terrifying and devastating stories were coming out: a young boy screaming "run" as he fled the shooting; another young boy found alive under the body of his mother, who died shielding him; a mother rocking her baby to keep the child from crying as they hid; a girl who was apparently killed while crouching in the bushes. As of Sunday afternoon, three of the injured victims, who ranged in age from 5 to 61, remained in critical condition, CNN reports. One of the victims killed had been identified by friends and family as Christian LaCour. (More Texas mass shooting stories.)

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