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6-year-old Boy Sole Survivor After Entire Family Slain in Texas Mall Shooting

Leo Timm
Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: May 9, 2023
The Cho family, residents of Dallas Texas. WIlliam, 6, is seen in the foreground in front on his mother, Cindy Cho, father Kyu Song Cho, and younger brother James. All except William were murdered in the May 6, 2023 shooting that claimed nine lives at a mall in Allen, a suburb north of Dallas. (Image: via GoFundMe)

The mass shooting in a mall near Dallas last Saturday (May 6) left nine dead, including the gunman. Among his victims were two young sisters, a security guard, and three members of a Korean-American family, all of whom died on the scene.

A police officer who happened to be nearby drew his own weapon and shot the rifle-armed perpetrator, a man surnamed Garcia, killing him. Two others, an Indian-American engineer and a Dallas resident, who were injured by the gunman in the Allen, Texas mall, died after failed attempts by medics to save them.

Allen is a suburb located in the north of the Dallas-Forth Worth metro area.

Netizens launched a GoFundMe donation for the Korean-American family, of whom only a six-year-old boy, William Cho, survived his gunshot wounds. He lost his father, Kyu Song Cho, 37, mother Cindy Cho, 35, and younger brother James, who was 3.

William had just had his birthday a few days earlier, and he was at the mall with his family to exchange the clothes he’d received as a gift.

The sisters killed by Garcia were Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, aged 11 and 8. Both were in elementary school. Their mother was also wounded.

Christian LaCour, the security guard, was 20. Another victim was 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas.

Aishwarya Thatikonda, the engineer from India, worked at a general contracting firm. She was 26 and a week shy of her birthday, according to The New York Times. Her parents had been looking for a suitable man for her to marry.

Various media reported that the shooter had spent three months in the U.S. Army, but did not finish his training due to mental health issues and was discharged from service. Police are currently investigating his social media history, which appears to include Nazi and other extremist symbology, as well as violent views.

Police did not reveal the identity of the officer who stopped Garcia. The officer’s attorney, Zach Horn, praised him for having “sprinted towards high power rifle fire.”

According to Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey, the officer was in the mall responding to an unrelated issue when he heard gunshots, had rushed towards the shooter, and “neutralized” him.