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'She was gone': What an Allen shooting witness saw as he tried to help victims

Steven Spainhouer went to the outlet mall to find his son, who was working at the H&M store.

ALLEN, Texas — WARNING: The details below contain graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

Steven Spainhouer was in McKinney on Saturday afternoon when he received a call from his son, who was working at the H&M store at the Allen Premium Outlets mall.

They were locked in a breakroom at work, Spainhouer's son told him, and gunshots were being fired.

En Español: 'Ella se había ido': Lo que vio un testigo de Allen mientras intentaba ayudar a las víctimas

Spainhouer, who said he's a former police officer, rushed to the outlet mall and saw people running down the service road as he approached. When he pulled into the parking lot, there was no one.

So he drove toward the H&M - "which in hindsight, was not the smartest thing to do," Spainhouer told WFAA - and saw the scene of the shooting: A store window was shot out, seven people were on the ground wounded, and several people were standing in the area, filming the aftermath on their phones.

"If you're not going to help, stop filming, just leave," Spainhouer said he told the bystanders.

Spainhouer said he went to a victim who was crouched in the bushes and covering her head. He felt for a pulse and didn't feel one. When Spainhouer turned her head, "she had no face," he said.

"She was gone," he said.

He then tried to perform a chest compression on another victim who was coughing and moaning, he said. But the victim died.

Spainhouer then saw a four-year-old who was beneath a victim. He pulled the boy out, as the boy told him his mother was hurt. Spainhouer then saw a police officer, who got the boy to an ambulance to a hospital.

As police arrived and cleared the stores, Spainhouer was reunited with his son.

"Seeing my son come out with his hands up is a relief but having him walk past bodies I had to cover with sheets was not something any parent should have to face," Spainhouer said. "I'm glad he's OK."

Spainhouer said he was heartbroken Saturday night.

"Today, I'm mad," he told WFAA on Sunday. "I understand mental health. But mental health didn't fire that gun. That gun was available to somebody who didn't have to have it."

What do we know about the Allen shooting? 

Nine people died, including the suspect, in a shooting at an Allen outlet mall Saturday afternoon, and President Joe Biden confirmed the victims who died included children, though he did not specify how many.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday.

Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd confirmed in a news conference Saturday night that nine people died, including the shooter, and seven people were still being treated in area hospitals.

The victims' names have not been released. The suspected shooter was identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, according to law enforcement sources.

President Biden in a lengthy statement Sunday morning said the eight victims who were killed included "children," though he did not specify how many.

Biden's statement also said the suspect was "in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon" as he shot people at the Allen Premium Outlets mall.

"Eight Americans — including children — were killed yesterday in the latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation," Biden said. "Jill and I are praying for their families and for others critically injured, and we are grateful to the first responders who acted quickly and courageously to save lives."

More coverage of the Allen mall shooting:

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