Eight people were slain at a Texas shopping mall by a gunman who allegedly expressed his sympathy for Nazi ideology online, according to officials.
Authorities reported that on Saturday in Allen, about 25 miles north of Dallas, Mauricio Garcia, 33, also injured at least seven other people. Dashcam footage taken by a witness shows that the shooter stepped out of his car and began firing, ambushing workers, customers, and families with young children.
An Allen police officer who had been on a call nearby shot and killed the shooter at the scene.
Although authorities have not revealed a suspected reason, fresh information regarding Garcia has emerged. What we know about him is as follows:
Posts demonstrate a fascination with Nazis, firearms, and mass shooters
Garcia allegedly supported Nazi philosophy, uploaded photographs of his numerous weaponry, and posted a snapshot of Allen Premium Outlets on a social media platform in the weeks leading up to the massacre.
On the Russian social media website Odnoklassniki, a user shared photographs of various receipts and an airline ticket using Mauricio Garcia’s name, as well as a birthdate that matched Garcia’s. Investigators suspect the account belonged to Garcia, according to a law enforcement source.
A few weeks before the shooting, the account tweeted a snapshot from Google Maps showing when times of day the mall was busiest.
Garcia cited from “South Park” and other movies and TV shows in the account’s final message, a rambling post from the day of the shooting, and alluded to his issues with secret personal problems.
“Even if I did go to a psychologist,” the poster says, “they (sic) are not going to be able to fix whatever is wrong with me.” Aside from that, sh*t is pricey.”
There were also photographs of a man’s shirtless chest with a huge swastika tattoo over his heart that were shared. It’s not apparent if the man is Garcia.
The New York Times originally reported on the account’s existence, and it was later recognized by a researcher with the open-source intelligence website Bellingcat.
The Odnoklassniki account, with the login “PsycoVision 5,” had no friends or groups mentioned, implying Garcia used it as a personal diary, according to Aric Toler, the Bellingcat researcher who identified the account.
However, anyone with an account on the social media site, also known as OK.RU, can see the posts.
In some tweets, Garcia described as an “incel,” a word defined by the Anti-Defamation League as “heterosexual men who blame women and society for their lack of romantic success.” Some comments were sexist and exhibited hostility toward women.
Another post was filled with rage directed at family members who “mocked any attempt I made to be masculine…” and “told me I was disturbed…” Another message depicted people making jokes or awkward remarks regarding the poster’s proclivity for mass murder.
Other photographs on the account show several pieces of weaponry, some of which the user stated he recently purchased.
An April 24 post commended the shooter in the Nashville school tragedy, who killed six people, including three children, in March.
Other entries promoted antisemitism and supported the “replacement theory,” the false belief that a plot is underway to reduce the White population in the United States. Some racist gunmen have stated that the ideology inspired them.
There are possible links to extremist organizations
Investigators are looking into whether Garcia was motivated by right-wing extremism, according to a senior law enforcement source involved with the inquiry.
The associated press got a photo of Garcia, who was clad in black and tactical gear, laying on the ground after being shot. According to the source, he was wearing an insignia that officials believe is affiliated with extremist groups.
Garcia was wearing an RWDS patch, which stood for Right-Wing Death Squad, according to the informant. Police recovered many other firearms in Garcia’s car, in addition to an AR-15-style firearm and another weapon found with him, according to a law enforcement source.
Neighbors of a residence matching Garcia’s parents’ told the associated press they were astonished to find Garcia was the shooter.
“I know nothing happened on our block, but it sends a chill down your spine knowing the suspect lives a few houses away,” Moises Carreon, a neighbor, said.
Garcia, according to the law enforcement source, had been staying in some kind of transitory housing. According to The Dallas Morning News, he was staying in an extended-stay motel in Dallas.
The Army discharged me after three months
Garcia graduated in 2008 from Bryan Adams High School in east Dallas, according to the Dallas Independent School District.
He joined the Army in June of that year but was not assigned a specific job, known as a military occupational specialization, according to Army spokesman Heather Hagan. He was fired after three months and did not complete basic training, according to Hagan.
A law enforcement source involved with the investigation told the associated press that the gunman was removed due to concerns about his mental health.
A commander could approve the separation of a service member for physical or mental health issues that interfere with an assignment or performance of duty, according to Army regulations at the time Garcia was separated.
He had no deployments or honors in his brief time in the Army, according to Hagan.
According to a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the gunman had worked for at least three security organizations and had undergone hours of firearms proficiency training in recent years.
The shooter’s profile in the Texas Online Private Security database shows that he was authorized to serve as a security guard in Texas from April 2016 until April 2020, when his license expired.
Garcia received Level II and Level III security training as part of his job: the former covers Texas security laws, while the latter, which is required for all commissioned security officers and personal protection officers in Texas, includes firearm training and the demonstration of firearm proficiency, according to Jonah Nathan, vice president of Ranger Guard, a Texas security guard service that is not affiliated with Garcia’s employers.
Garcia worked as a security guard for Dallas-based Ruiz Protective Service in 2015, but resigned after a few months, according to Hector Ruiz, the company’s owner.
Ruiz said he didn’t remember any interactions with Garcia, saying that it’s not uncommon for security guards to work short-term or bounce between organizations.
“I don’t think there was anything particularly remarkable about this guy,” he remarked. “As a new employee, he most likely worked at multiple locations.” They frequently begin by covering roles where people are absent or call in sick.”