The Texas outlet mall active shooter: The tragedy and the triumph

The Tragedy at the Allen Premium Outlets

The Attack on an Ordinary Saturday

May 6, 2023, was a busy Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas when a 33-year-old man who had been booted from the Army before completing basic training, stepped from a silver sedan, armed with an AR-15. He wasted no time opening fire on families shopping at the mall.

The Shooter’s Motivation and Preparation

According to his social media posts, this vile human looked upon mass shooting as a sport. He moved through the mall, killing eight and wounding seven innocent people, and like most active killers, would not stop the killing until someone as good as he was evil stopped him.

The Loss of Life and Injuries

In the span of just a few minutes, the shooter took the lives of 8 people and injured 7 others. The tragedy sent shockwaves through the community.

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The Heroic Response of the Allen Police Officer

The Officer’s Routine Community Policing Shift

As the shooter was exiting his vehicle, an Allen Police Department officer (yet to be named) was speaking to two children and their mother during a community policing contact. This pleasant contact was interrupted by the unmistakable staccato of gunfire at the outlet mall.

The Officer’s Instant and Skilled Reaction

The officer snapped instantly into action. His response serves as a valuable training experience for any police officer who takes the time to watch the bodycam video below.

The officer immediately radioed in the location and circumstances calling for all units available to report immediately: “145, I think we got shots fired at the outlet mall.” He then smoothly acquired his patrol rifle and expertly charged the weapon, while already moving toward the sound of gunfire.

The officer ran toward the gunfire, warning people who were unaware of what was happening, all while gathering intelligence from fleeing witnesses and radioing updates to other officers. He used pillars and walls as cover as he closed in on the shooter’s location.

Key Aspects of the Officer’s Response

The officer’s response demonstrated keen situational awareness, decisive action, accurate shooting, and effective communication throughout the intense encounter. His fitness allowed him to sprint toward the threat without delay. When engaging the shooter, he maintained his composure and delivered well-aimed shots. The officer’s actions embodied exemplary policing and bravery.

Aftermath and Adjudication

Praise for the Officer’s Actions

The officer has justifiably received high praise for his response to this incident from all sectors. During this incident, he was able to quickly transition from routine community engagement to running directly into an active shooting in progress. He was magnificent to watch, during both endeavors.

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Grand Jury Finding on Use of Force

On June 27, a Grand Jury returned “no bill,” which in Texas means the use of deadly force to stop the suspect at the mall was justified.

Releasing the Body Camera Footage

After releasing the bodycam video, Allen Police Department Chief Brian Harvey stated: “This video shows how quickly a routine interaction with the public turned into a life and death situation. This officer recognized the danger, ran toward the gunfire and neutralized the threat – and for his actions the community is forever grateful.”

Gratitude from the Community

Let me also say to the officer involved, thanks for inspiring the entire law enforcement profession with your determined, courageous and effective response. We too are forever grateful. May the fact that you saved lives help you to navigate through the difficult emotional waters that you must be traveling through right now.

Lessons Learned

Training Takeaways for Law Enforcement

This incident provides many valuable training takeaways for law enforcement officers on responding effectively to active shooter situations. The officer’s actions demonstrate the importance of fitness, situational awareness, decisive action, accurate shooting, communication and courage under intense pressure.

Appreciation for the Officer’s Courage and Skill

The community owes a debt of gratitude to this officer for his incredible bravery and skill in responding to this tragic shooting. His actions prevented further loss of life and inspire all who protect and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people were killed in the shooting?

The shooter killed 8 people and wounded 7 others before being stopped by the police officer.

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What kind of gun did the shooter use?

The shooter used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the attack.

How did the officer engage the shooter so quickly?

The officer was already on scene conducting routine community engagement when the shooting started. His proximity allowed a rapid response.

Was the officer’s use of deadly force found to be justified?

Yes, a Grand Jury cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting, finding that it was justified under the circumstances.

What lessons are learned from this incident?

This case highlights the importance of police training for active shooter response and the courage required of officers who run toward danger to protect others.

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