Revealed: Texas Mall Shooter’s Journal Was Filled With Asian Hate
The Texas man who fatally gunned down eight people and wounded seven at a Dallas-area mall 10 days ago not only glorified neo-Nazi ideology, he also harbored a deep xenophobia toward Asians, his online journal entries show.
Photos of more than 300 handwritten notes uploaded by mass shooter Mauricio Garcia to Russian social media site OK.ru, where his profile picture was a smiley face with a Hitler mustache, displayed a special sort of vitriol for both East and South Asians, according to a new analysis by the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET), an academic research initiative affiliated with King’s College London.
Four of those killed by Garcia on May 6 at the Allen Premium Outlets were of Asian descent: Kyu Song Cho, 37; Cindy Cho, 35; their 3-year-old son James; and Aishwarya Thatikonda, 26.
Garcia, 33, worked as a security guard. He tried to join the Army in 2008 but was discharged three months later for unspecified “physical or mental conditions,” an Army spokeswoman said in an email.
“In addition to the multitude of bigoted views he expresses, anti-East/South Asian racism constitutes a consistent thread,” the GNET analysis says of Garcia, who was shot dead by police at the scene. “When talking about East Asians, his hatred coalesces around men in particular. He parrots narratives about East Asian men being undesirable, timid, and rejected by everyone, including East Asian women.”
In some entries, Garcia made East Asians out to be “foreign invaders,” and blamed the Chinese people at large for COVID-19, the GNET study goes on. In others, he went on “tirades against South Asians (specifically Indians),” it says, noting those instances in which Garcia simply combined the two into “racist rants about both East and South Asians in the same paragraph.”
It all goes hand-in-hand with Garcia’s vicious misogynistic streak, according to GNET, as well as a strong resentment of his Hispanic identity. He described himself as “deeply angry” with women, blaming them for his loneliness, while also writing that there was a “time when I wished I was white.” Garcia railed against women as “being inherently manipulative individuals” out to use men for sex and drain their finances, GNET’s analysis states.
“Other sections of his journal are devoted to diatribes concerning preconceived notions about rigid gender dynamics between men and women; some of which also include rants about East Asian men being undesirable partners for women overall,” it continues.
Irvin Walker, 46, was one of the first people shot during Garcia’s terrifying rampage.
He appeared at a Tuesday afternoon news conference from Medical City McKinney, where he has undergone numerous surgeries to repair the damage to his broken body. Garcia, out of nowhere, opened fire into Walker’s car as he looked for a parking spot at the mall shortly after dropping off his girlfriend.
“I said, ‘Hey, go ahead and enter the building, and I’ll park,’” Walker recalled, noting that it was the weekend before Mother’s Day and the shopping center was packed. “I could not park close in proximity to the store, so I proceeded around. And that’s where the tragedy started.”
Walker, who works in the insurance industry, was shot three times, in the chest and shoulder. One of the bullets missed his subclavian artery by a fraction of an inch, one of Walker’s doctors said on Tuesday, remarking that things could very easily have turned out quite differently for him.
“I knew I couldn’t drive to the emergency room, I wasn’t too familiar with the area,” Walker went on. “So my mindset was, let me get out and seek help. I knew I was bleeding profusely. So I got out of my vehicle and I saw what looked like a security officer approaching on his Segway, and I ran towards that way.”
That security guard, 20-year-old Christian LaCour, helped Walker to a chair so he could sit down. A short time later, Walker said, LaCour was shot dead by Garcia.
Walker’s doctors said on Tuesday that his injuries were extensive, and that he’s still “in the early process of healing.”
“He still has wounds that have nowhere close to being fully healed,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kim. “We worry about contractures, range of motion in his shoulder, the muscle and the skin and the soft tissue damage that he sustained… He’s doing great… But, we’re still in the beginning process of healing from this injury.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Walker’s personal and medical expenses had brought in about $97,000 of its $100,000 goal.
While Walker continues to recuperate, the GNET researchers say is “crucial” to consider the internalized racism embedded in Garcia’s writings, particularly the way he projected his own feelings onto East Asians in claiming that they are “losers” who “want to be white.” This self-loathing, it notes, may help to explain why Garcia, a Latino with multiple neo-Nazi tattoos, was attracted to white supremacism. (At the same time, it emphasizes that further examination is necessary to understand the “complexities of internalized racism, its relevancy to people of color who join white supremacist groups/advocate for white supremacism, and the relation to power dynamics shaped by systemic racism as a whole.”)
There has been a shift to the right among Hispanics and Latinos in recent years, with the co-founder of the nonprofit Global Project Against Hate and Extremism describing as a “misnomer” the idea that only whites can hold white supremacist beliefs. And although Garcia’s worldview appears to have been rooted in bigotry, police say they have not yet determined a motive for the attack.
In a phone call on Tuesday, Jose Sai Ortuno, Garcia’s stepfather, told The Daily Beast that he is still trying to digest the horrific violence Garcia unleashed.
“I don’t have answers to what you’re looking for,” Ortuno said. “I’m really sorry, but I just can’t talk about it right now.”
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