On Saturday, May 7th, a gunman opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets shopping mall in Texas, killing nine people before being shot dead by police. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, was reportedly kicked out of the US Army less than three months after joining in 2008. The reasons for his dismissal were not disclosed.
"Mauricio Garcia entered the regular Army in June 2008; he was terminated three months later without completing initial entry training," US Army spokeswoman Heather Hagan said in a statement.
"He was not awarded a military occupational specialty. He had no deployments or awards," Hagan added.
Garcia's Neo-Nazi and misogynistic views
The investigation into the shooting revealed that Garcia had a page on a Russian social media site that expressed neo-Nazi and misogynistic views. Photos of a shirtless torso bearing Nazi tattoos were also found on the profile, but it is unclear if the person pictured was Garcia. The Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI are currently handling the investigation into the shooting.
Victims of the shooting
The victims of the shooting include a Korean-American family of three, a three-year-old boy, and two elementary school-aged sisters. The other victims were a security guard and an engineer, according to US media reports. Only a six-year-old boy named William survived the attack.
Calls for gun control
The shooting has renewed calls for gun control measures in the United States. President Joe Biden has urged lawmakers to pass a national assault weapons ban and other gun safety measures.
With more firearms than inhabitants, the United States has the highest rate of gun deaths of any developed country, with 49,000 deaths in 2021 alone, up from 45,000 the previous year.
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