A THREE-year-old boy and his parents were among eight victims senselessly killed in a mall shooting over the weekend.
Mauricio Garcia, 33, from Dallas, Texas, was shot dead by police after he opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday afternoon.
Kyu Song Cho, 37, Cindy Cho, 35, and their three-year-old son James were all shot dead in the tragic attack.
They were joined by two elementary school-aged sisters, a security guard and an engineer with a master’s degree, NBC News reports.
Sisters Sofia Mendoza, eight, and Daniela Mendoza, 11, have been described by their school principle as “rays of sunshine.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mendoza family, the families of the victims, and all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” the school district’s Superintendent David Vinson wrote.
Meanwhile, Aishwarya Thatikonda, just 26, was a project manager at Dallas contracting firm Perfect General Contractors, as well as a representative from the Telugu Association of North America.
“It’s a grief I’ve never experienced. I pray that this situation doesn’t happen to anybody,” her boss, Srinivas Chaluvadi, said.
Christian LaCour, a security guard at the mall, also lost his life in the horrific shooting.
Writing on Facebook, the 23-year-old’s grandmother described LaCour as “such a beautiful soul,” who had “goals for his future.”
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Police officials also revealed that Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32, was also gunned down and killed.
The horrifying scene broke out at around 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon.
Dashcam footage which captured the harrowing event saw Garcia exiting what is believed to be a gray Dodge Charger before opening fire at pedestrians.
Officials eventually evacuated the mall and had shoppers and employees exit with their hands in the air.
A police officer who was on an unrelated call fatally shot the gunman, bringing an end to the unfathomable slaying.
As of now, the case is being considered as a potential act of racial or ethically motivated violent extremism, according to a report by NBC News.
At the time of the shooting, Garcia was wearing a patch on his chest that read: RWDS, sources familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post.
This is reportedly an acronym for Right Wing Death Squad, which is popular among right-wing extremists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.
Gracia reportedly used an AR-15-style rifle in the shooting and multiple other firearms were found at the scene, law enforcement sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Over 100 fired cartridges were also found, one official told the outlet.
Garcia reportedly was a former army veteran and worked as a security guard. He had no substantial criminal history.
A GoFundMe has been created to help support the family of Kyu and Cindy Cho and their one surviving six-year-old child.