Texas gunman may have embraced white supremacy, media reports say



The man accused of shooting and killing eight people at a Texas mall appeared to have embraced white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies, multiple media outlets reported on Monday.

In social media profiles thought to be linked to the suspect, 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, investigators found posts targeting racial or ethnic minorities, NBC News reported, citing two law enforcement officials. Police killed Garcia, who was wearing tactical gear and carrying an AR-15-style rifle, during the attack.

On a Russian social media platform, a user believed to have been Garcia praised the dictator Adolf Hitler and sympathized with neo-Nazi beliefs, according to the New York Times, citing law enforcement sources. The profile also made hateful comments against women.

During the shooting, Garcia wore a patch with the letters "RWDS," an abbreviation for "Right Wing Death Squad," advocating violence to achieve political means, the Times reported, citing an official whose identity it did not disclose. U.S. Army spokesperson Heather Hagan said in a statement that Garcia was kicked out of the U.S. Army in 2008, less than three months after joining, without specifying why he was removed.

Police identified Garcia, a Dallas resident, as the suspect accused of opening fire on May 6 at Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, a suburb of Dallas. Officials have not released any further information about him or his motives or the identities of the victims, who ranged in age from 5 to 61.

Second-deadliest mass shooting in 2023

The Texas Mall massacre on Saturday is among the latest in at least 202 mass shootings recorded in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive, adding that the attack was the second-deadliest mass shooting of 2023.

The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.

A witness told CGTN that after hearing the shots, he ran out and saw the shooter wearing all-black, and was just shooting.

In a statement on Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden renewed calls for the U.S. Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enact universal background checks and end immunity for gun manufacturers.

With more firearms than inhabitants, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun deaths of any developed country - 49,000 in 2021, up from 45,000 the year before.