UPDATED: 5:35 p.m. ET
Originally published at 11:13 a.m. ET
The gunman who killed at least eight people during a mass shooting in north Texas on Saturday may have been motivated by white supremacist and Neo-nazi beliefs, according to a new report.
Mauricio Garcia, 33, was wearing an emblem associated with the hate groups when he was shot dead by a responding officer in the Dallas suburb of Allen.
Authorities have not released a motive, but a patch on his chest said “RWDS,” an acronym that stands for Right Wing Death Squad, according to people familiar with the investigation. The phrase is popular among right wing extremists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, they said, and while there is still a great deal of evidence to analyze and authorities have not reached any conclusions yet, investigators are approaching the shooting as a possible hate crime.
Texas law enforcement officials have been tight-lipped with details about a horrific mass shooting on Saturday afternoon at a mall near Dallas that left at least nine people dead, including the gunman.
Speculation and misinformation on social media have been running rampant about the gunman’s identity and motive centered on whether he initiated a racist shooting and targeted the victims based on their backgrounds. One of the main narratives being pushed on social media is anti-Black and being fueled by tweets from suspected white supremacists.
A gunman is shown on video exiting a vehicle in the mall parking lot and immediately firing at shoppers walking on a sidewalk around 3:30 p.m. local time. He was dressed in all black and armed with at least one assault rifle at the outdoor shopping center located about 26 miles north of Dallas. Police said an officer who was nearby and heard the dozens of shots quickly responded and killed the gunman, according to local news outlet WFAA.
Aside from saying the police the gunman acted alone, little information about the shooter was known as of early Sunday morning.
“As of 9 a.m. Sunday, police had not identified the gunman, who was also killed, or any of the victims,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
The death toll could grow even higher.
Among the seven people injured, three are in critical condition and four were listed as being stable.
An explicit photo on social media shows the gunman was killed after apparently having been shot in the head.
Racist responses on social media
Suspected white supremacists wasted no time tweeting without proof that the shooter was a “Black male.” That conclusion was apparently based on grainy dashcam footage that showed the gunman getting out of his car and opening fire near the mall’s Fatburger restaurant.
But that graphic footage was recorded from a vehicle that was driving away from the shooting, making it increasingly impossible for viewers online to be able to positively identify the race of the shooter.
Another tweet showed a graphic video of people killed in Saturday’s shooting, claiming the footage showed “Black killers bragging and filming their White victims in the Allen Texas mass shooting event. The killer was heard yelling that the killing was Justice for Trayvon and that ‘all Whites must die.'”
Of course, there have been no such reports from law enforcement or the media.
A subsequent tweet showed a photo of the apparently lifeless body of a Black male lying on the ground as police vehicles surround the scene. But Twitter quickly appended a note from “readers” who “added context” that identified the tweet as a complete lie.
The note linked out to an actual photo of the Allen Premium Outlets gunman after he had been shot to death by a police officer on Saturday.
“This is a photo of a victim, not the suspect,” Twitter’s note said about the incorrect photo that was shared before correcting the tweet.
“The suspect’s body was located next to a trash can outside a Fat Burger,” the note continued. “This [other] victim is outside a Claire’s.”
The graphic image of the actual shooter is still not definitive when it comes to being able to identify him by his race.
Little information is known about the victims.
They range in age from 5 to 61, but it was not immediately reported who among them had died.
But that didn’t stop suspected white supremacists from posting in apparent glee their purported proof of the shooter’s race.
“Ever notice the longer it takes to release the race of the shooter, the darker that person is?” one tweet asked rhetorically. “White —— less than an hour,” the tweet continued before claiming it takes a “few hours” when gunmen are “Hispanic” and the “next day (on Twitter)” for Black suspects.
To be sure, there has been no indication from law enforcement, witnesses or survivors about any alleged racial intent, motivation or factor behind the shooting.
While waiting for law enforcement to provide an update about the shooter, historical precedent suggests he is not Black.
Data documenting mass shootings over the past 50 years show that more than 52% of those gunmen were white males. Conversely, the National Institute of Justice — a branch of the federal government’s Office of Justice Programs, an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice — found that Black men were the shooters a little more than 8% of the time.
The frequency with which so many of these mass shootings are committed by white supremacists also shouldn’t be ignored, either. Especially because it wasn’t too long ago when Patrick Crusius killed 23 people and injured 22 others during a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso committed by a racist white man who said he is “against race mixing,” supported the anti-immigration idea to “send them back” and predicted “genocide.”
Media Showers Louisville Shooter With Sympathetic Headlines After Murderous Rampage Kills 5
RIP Arielle Anderson: Black Student Killed In Michigan State Shooting Remembered As ‘Kind, Loving, Caring’
Jacky Oh, Mother Of DC Young Fly's Children, Dies Following Plastic Surgery: Report
Mother Of Teen In Citi Bike Video Speaks Out: ‘No One Bothered To Ask Him What Happened’
Heart In Your Hands: Important Lifestyle Changes For Heart Failure Recovery
Plastic Surgeon Linked To Jacky Oh Is 'Liposuction & BBL Specialist' With Negative Online Reviews
Diagnosed With Painful Nerve Condition, Shaun King Asks For Help Paying For Medical Procedures
Sarah Jane Comrie Is A 2023 Version Of Carolyn Bryant
GoFundMe Started To Help Family Of Teen In 'Citi Bike Karen' Viral Incident
Tweets Link Florida Parent At Center Of School Book Ban To White Supremacists, Far-Right Extremists