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Who is Fontayne Payton? (8 people killed by Texas mall gunman)Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts

Fontayne Payton

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A gunman killed eight people and wounded seven others, three critically, in a shooting at a Dallas-area shopping center before being fatally shot by a nearby police officer, authorities said Saturday.

Authorities did not immediately provide details about the victims, but witnesses reported seeing children among them. Some witnesses at the Allen Premium Outlets said they also saw what appeared to be an unconscious police officer and mall security guard on the ground.

Dash cam video circulating online showed a gunman getting out of a vehicle outside the mall and immediately began shooting at people on the sidewalk. More than three dozen shots were heard as the vehicle recording the video drove away.

Nine victims had been taken to hospitals, the Allen Police Department said on Facebook.

Medical City Healthcare, a Dallas-area hospital system, said in a written statement that it was treating eight people ages 5 to 61.

An Allen police officer was in the area on an unrelated call when he heard gunshots at 3:36 p.m., the department wrote on Facebook.

“The officer confronted the suspect and neutralized the threat. He then called emergency personnel. Nine victims were transported to local hospitals by the Allen Fire Department,” the agency wrote in the Facebook post. “There is no longer an active threat.”

The White House said that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and that the administration had offered support to local officials. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed laws easing gun restrictions after past mass shootings, called it an “unspeakable tragedy.”

Hundreds of people who had been shopping Saturday night stood in front of the mall. The agents circulated among them asking if anyone had seen what happened.

Fontayne Payton, 35, was in an H&M store when she heard the sound of gunshots through her headphones.

People in the store dispersed before employees led the group into fitting rooms and then into a lockable back room, she said. When they were given the go-ahead to leave, Payton saw that the store had broken windows and a trail of blood to the door.

Outside, Payton saw bodies covered in white towels, slumped over bags on the floor, he said.

“I pray they weren’t kids, but they looked like kids,” he said.

Farther away, he saw the body of a burly man dressed entirely in black. He assumed he was the shooter, Payton said, because the body was not covered.

Tarakram Nunna, 25, and Ramakrishna Mullapudi, 26, said they saw what appeared to be three people motionless on the ground, including one who appeared to be a police officer and another who appeared to be a mall security guard.

Another shopper, Sharkie Mouli, 24, said he hid in a Banana Republic store during the shooting. As he left, he saw what appeared to be an unconscious police officer lying next to another unconscious person outside the store.

Videos on social media showed people running through a parking lot as gunshots rang out.

More than 30 police squad cars with flashing lights blocked the entrance to the mall, with several ambulances on the scene.

A live aerial broadcast from a news station showed armored trucks and other police vehicles parked outside the sprawling open-air mall.

Ambulances from several neighboring cities came to the scene. The Dallas office of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.

Allen, a suburb about 25 miles north of downtown Dallas, has about 105,000 residents.

Information for this article was contributed by Adam Kealoha Causey and Rebecca Boone of The Associated Press.