TEXAS, Allen—  Authorities said on Saturday that a gunman killed eight people and wounded seven others, three of whom are critically injured, in a shooting at a Dallas-area mall. A police officer who happened to be nearby fatally shot the gunman.

In the latest gun violence to strike the United States, a perpetrator stepped out of a silver sedan and began shooting people at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, killing eight and injuring seven others, three of whom are critically wounded.

Witnesses who were at the scene saw multiple victims, including children, and also noticed a police officer and a mall security guard who appeared to be unconscious on the ground.

Allen Police reported that nine victims had been taken to hospitals, and Dallas-area hospital system Medical City Healthcare stated that it was treating eight of them, ranging in age from 5 to 61. Dashcam video circulating online showed the gunman stepping out of the vehicle outside the mall and immediately starting to shoot at people on the sidewalk.

An Allen Police officer who was in the area on an unrelated call heard shots and engaged the suspect, neutralizing the threat before calling for emergency personnel. The White House confirmed that President Biden was briefed on the shooting and offered support to local officials, while Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called it an “unspeakable tragedy.” Mass killings have been occurring with staggering frequency in the United States this year, averaging about one a week according to an AP/USA Today analysis.

Shoppers leave with hands up as law enforcement responds to a shooting in the Dallas area’s Allen Premium Outlets, which authorities said has left multiple people injured in Allen, Texas, U.S. May 6, 2023

House Representative Keith Self, who represents Texas’ 3rd Congressional District, expressed his condolences, while hundreds of people who had been shopping stood outside the mall, and officers circulated among them asking if anyone had seen what happened. Witnesses described the chaotic scene and the sound of gunshots, with people scattering and seeking refuge in stores. Fontayne Payton, who was in an H&M store at the time of the shooting, said he heard gunshots so loud that it sounded like it was right outside.

People in the store scattered before employees ushered the group into fitting rooms and a lockable back room. When they were given the all-clear to leave, Payton saw the store had broken windows and a trail of blood to the door. Discarded sandals and bloodied clothes were laying nearby. Outside, he saw bodies covered in white towels, slumped over bags on the ground, and he prayed it wasn’t children, but it looked like children.

Payton also saw the body of a heavyset man wearing all black, and he assumed it was the shooter because it had not been covered up like the other bodies.