Heroic Father Shielded His Daughter, 16, After Texas Mall Shooter Opened Fire

 

On Saturday, a shooter opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Dallas, Texas, killing eight people and injuring seven more. Geoffrey Keaton and his 16-year-old daughter were having lunch at a Fatburger restaurant in the mall at the time of the incident.

Keaton and his daughter were among those who survived what has been termed as the country’s second-deadliest mass shooting this year. Keaton described what happened after they heard gunfire and how he sheltered his daughter in an interview with The New York Times.

“I immediately knew,” he recalled. “I got my baby girl under the counter to shield her, and then they got louder, like he was right there.”

According to Keaton, the restaurant management permitted patrons to seek sanctuary in the back of the establishment, and they were eventually able to sprint to their cars after exiting through a back door.

“You could see bodies of people he had shot on the sidewalk,” Keaton recalled. The Gun Violence Archive, which records shootings in the United States, reported that number of mass shootings in the country this year currently stands at 199. The platform describes mass shootings as incidents where at least four people are shot.

The January 21 massacre at Monterey Park in California was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States this year. Eleven individuals were killed in that tragedy when a shooter opened fire in a ballroom.

Kris Brown, president of the gun violence prevention organization Brady, issued a statement in response to Saturday’s incident, highlighting similar shooting occurrences around the country.

“A house, a doctors’ office, and now a mall,” Brown said. “These horrific tragedies are occurring with increasing regularity and it’s clear there’s no place in this country where Americans are safe from gun violence. But this will continue to be our reality unless and until the U.S. changes its relationship with guns and our lawmakers finally answer to the American people, not the gun lobby.”

Mauricio Garcia was identified as the gunman in Saturday’s deadly mass shooting. According to the New York Times, the 33-year-old gunman was fatally shot by a police officer who had gone to the mall for a separate assignment at the time of the shooting.

Authorities believe the deceased gunman had White supremacist or neo-Nazi motivations.

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