Indian engineer among nine killed in mass shooting incident in US

Houston: An Indian engineer was among nine people killed when a gunman opened fire at a crowded mall in Dallas in the US state of Texas, authorities said on Monday.

Aishwarya Thatikonda, of McKinney, was shopping with a friend when they were shot by gunman Mauricio Garcia at the Allen Premium Outlets in Dallas, the New York Post newspaper reported.

The shooting erupted around 3:30 pm on Saturday as throngs of shoppers filled the outdoor mall. The shooting killed at least eight people before Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old gunman, was shot dead by a police officer.

She worked as a project engineer at Perfect General Contractors LLC.

A family representative confirmed to the WFAA television station that Thatikonda was also among the dead from the senseless gun violence.

She was an engineer living and working in Texas while her family was in India, the TV station reported.

Her friend, who was not identified, was injured but is currently in stable condition at the hospital, the report said.

Thatikonda’s family is planning to bring her body back to India, the report said.

She was working in Dallas as a project engineer for more than two years before her tragic death, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Garcia, the gunman, was shot and killed by an officer who was patrolling the area.

A Dallas home linked to Garcia’s parents was searched by police Saturday night after the massacre, and officials also scoured a motel where the shooter had booked an extended stay, law-enforcement sources told local outlet WFAA-TV.

In a statement about the shooting, the mall said, “We are horrified by the senseless tragedy at Allen Premium Outlets and are outraged by the violence that continues to plague our country.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and others affected by this heinous act. We are thankful for the Allen Police Officer’s heroic actions and for the support of all the first responders.” So far there have been at least 198 mass shootings in the United States in 2023, according to the gun violence archive.

Saturday’s tragedy occurred just a couple of weeks before the first anniversary of the Uvalle, Texas School massacre when 19 children and two adults were killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022.

It comes just days after a gunman became enraged during a visit to an Atlanta medical facility, allegedly shooting dead at least one person with a handgun and injuring four others before he was caught hours later.

Saturday’s incident is the second-deadliest shooting of the year in the country, after the Monterey Park, California, massacre in which a gunman killed 11 people in a ballroom on January 21.