Suspected Texas Shooter Was Kicked Out Of US Army

 

A spokesman for the US Army said Monday that the man suspected of murdering eight people at a Texas shopping mall was booted out less than three months after enrolling in 2008.

On Saturday afternoon, Mauricio Garcia, 33, was shot dead by police after opening fire with a semi-automatic weapon in the parking lot of Allen Premium Outlets north of Dallas.

“Mauricio Garcia entered the regular Army in June 2008; he was terminated three months later without completing initial entry training,” US Army spokeswoman Heather Hagan said in a statement, without specifying why he was removed.

“He was not awarded a military occupational specialty. He had no deployments or awards,” Hagan added.

Garcia had a page on a Russian social media site that displayed neo-Nazi and misogynistic ideas, as well as Garcia’s concerns about his own mental health, according to US media and the independent Bellingcat research site.

The profile featured photographs of a shirtless torso with Nazi tattoos, although it was unclear whether the person portrayed was Garcia.

US law enforcement authorities declined to comment on the page, but one said media allegations about Garcia’s far-right views were based on a document leaked from the inquiry, which is being handled by the Texas Department of Public Safety in collaboration with the FBI.

A GoFundMe page appeared to confirm that three of those killed in the shooting were Korean-American parents and their three-year-old son.

“After being released from the ICU, their six-year-old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event,” the page said.

Others who lost their lives included two elementary school-aged sisters, a security guard and an engineer, according to US media.

US President Joe Biden on Sunday renewed his call for lawmakers to pass a national assault weapons ban and other gun safety measures, saying fast action is needed to save lives.

With more firearms than inhabitants, the United States has the highest rate of gun deaths of any developed country — 49,000 in 2021, up from 45,000 the year before.

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