ALLEN, Texas — At 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, Marcus Kergosien unlocked the doors of Zwilling Factory Store at Allen Premium Outlets. The mall was closed after the mass shooting on May 6.
Kergosien felt ready to welcome back customers.
“Reopening the store and moving toward positivity is a very important thing for me and both of my employees,” he said.
He was working when the mass shooting happened. Eight people were killed and seven were injured.
“The first thing that I went to go do was lock the doors,” said Kergosien.
He said at first, seven people inside the store went to the freight hallway in the back to try and exit to the parking lot, but there was a man with a gun back there. Instead, everyone shuffled back inside the store, where the stock room had a metal door.
His customers and employees were safe inside, but outside his store is where a victim, 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas died. The surveillance footage at Zwiling captured the terrifying moment.
Kergosien said Cumana-Rivas was shot in the back and fell to the concrete sidewalk. A few seconds after the first shot, he said Cumana-Rivas got up and raised his hands up when he was shot a second time. Cumana-Rivas died at the scene.
The shooter walked right by Zwilling’s front doors.
From the back room, Kergosien heard the gunfire become more intense.
“It was apparently the Allen Police Department officer that shot and killed [the shooter] to neutralize him, and I thank God for him,” said Kergosien.
When he came out, he saw the victim laying on sidewalk, lifeless.
Cumana-Rivas was a dad from Venezuela, who lived in Dallas for seven months before he was killed. Kergosien wants to raise awareness about this victim.
“He supports his family. He’s got a sick mother and he’s got a 5-year-old little girl that turned six on May 11. And he was here at the mall shopping to send a birthday gift to her.”
For Kergosien, he wants to share Cumana-Rivas’s story and fundraiser. He wants people to know, “He has a little girl that has a whole future ahead of her and a mother that’s very sick so I’d like to raise awareness that this is worth the cause.”
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“We prayed for him,” Kergosien said. “He didn’t die alone. Even though we were on the other side of this glass wall, he was not alone.”
Kergosien said police presence has been tremendous since the shooting, and he nods first responders for a job well done.
“People shouldn’t be afraid to come on this property,” he said. “We’d like to see people come back. We’re open for business at regular mall hours and welcome everybody in the community to come in and see us.”