The heartbreaking incident at Allen Premium Outlets in Texas claimed eight lives and left many more injured. As the dust settles after the Saturday incident, we are learning more about the victims.
Keep reading to learn about the eight people who lost their lives in this senseless act of violence.
The Cho family was at Allen Premium Outlets to return some clothes their 6-year-old son William had gotten on his birthday four days ago. The family was headed for the H&M store when the gunman opened fire. The family of four included parents Cindy and Kyu Cho and their two sons: 6-year-old William and 3-year-old James. Only William survived the attack and is currently in the ICU.
The two boys attended Prestonwood Christian Academy. “What a sweet family,” said Dr. Jack Graham, the church’s senior pastor. “Three of the four in heaven, and a child left behind.”
Wylie ISD has also confirmed the names of the two girls who were killed in the shooting. 11-year-old Daniela Mendoza and 8-year-old Sofia Mendoza both attended Cox Elementary in Sachse.
Cox Elementary principal Krista Wilson called the two school students “rays of sunshine.”
“Daniela and Sofia were the kindest, most thoughtful students with smiles that could light up any room,” said Wilson in a statement. The girls’ mother Ilda Mendoza was also shot but survived and is currently hospitalized.
Another victim was a young Indian woman named Aishwarya Thatikonda. Ashok Kolla, a representative for the family confirmed the sad news. Kolla said he spent Sunday looking for Thatikonda after her roommates became concerned about her disappearance. Her cell phone was also turned off.
Kolla checked with other friends, the police, and hospitals but had no luck till he tried Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office and finally found Thatikonda. She had gone to Allen Premium Outlets with a friend. Her friend was also shot but survived the attack.
“We don’t want to hear the sad news, but unfortunately that’s what it is,” Kolla said. He is currently in the process of trying to transport her body back to India so her family is able to see her one last time and perform burial rites.
“The family is staying thousands of miles from here, and she came here for a better dream,” Kolla said. “Coming to the U.S. is a dream come true for many of our international students, thinking we are going to have a bright future.”
“Painful. It’s everywhere in the media now,” he said. “Until she arrives there, it’s just counting down the days, right? It’s painful.”
20-year-old Christian LaCour was another victim of the shooting. The young man worked as a guard at the location and was shot dead. His mother confirmed his death to the media.
32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas from Dallas was the final victim of the shooting.
The senseless shooting claimed so many lives and injured so many people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people affected by this heartbreaking incident.