The impacts of the Saturday, May 6, mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets hit home as 20-year-old Christian LaCour, a Nevada resident and FHS Class of 2021 graduate, was the first victim identified among the eight dead and seven wounded.
The incident took place around 3:30 p.m. when Mauricio Garcia, 33, opened fire inside the Allen mall.
The shooter was killed by an off-duty Allen police officer.
LaCour was working as a security guard at the shopping center at the time of the shooting. The young man was described as a “beautiful soul” on social media by his grandmother Sandra Montgomery.
Farmersville ISD noted on its Facebook page, counselors will be available for staff and student support.
“He was a dedicated student who enjoyed learning and asking thought-provoking questions,” FISD said in its post. “Christian was a wonderful friend and a good student who fellow students and FISD staff members loved.”
In Sachse, two siblings, second-grader Sofia Mendoza, 8, and fourth-grader Daniela Mendoza, 11, at Cox Elementary School, were killed while their mother, Ilda, remains in critical condition, according to communication sent out by Wylie ISD Superintendent David Vinson.
“Words cannot express the sadness we feel as we grieve the loss of our students,” Vinson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
Wylie ISD’s counseling staff has also promoted material from Supporting Your Child from the Coalition of Grieving Students along with information from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network to assist children affected by traumatic grief.
“We know this news may be triggering for some, and we want to help our students, staff, and families however possible,” Vinson’s message said. “Every school’s counseling team is equipped to support those who may be struggling, so please do not hesitate to reach out.”
Remaining victims identified include Aishwarya Thatikonda, an engineer from India, Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32, and Cho Kyu Song, 37, Kang Shin Young, 35, and James, their 3-year-old son. The family’s 6-year-old son, William, survived.
A GoFundMe for the family has raised over $1.3 million as of 9:45 a.m. May 9.
The Allen Police Department announced the Community Foundation of Texas was establishing a Support for Allen Fund starting Monday, May 8.
Proceeds from the fundraising effort will be given to area nonprofit organizations providing services, such as mental health and grief counseling and trauma support for victims, their families and first responders. The fund will not make direct payments to any individuals, according to its webpage.
To contribute to the fund or learn more, visit cftexas.org/community-impact/disaster-relief-and-recovery/supportforallen.
A Family Assistance Center, located at 451 St. Mary Drive in Allen, was open through Wednesday, May 10, although additional hours may be opened. The center was open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8-10.
Connor Pittman contributed to this story
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