Young sisters and boy, 3, among victims of Texas shopping mall shooting that left eight dead

·2-min read
Daniela and Sofia Mendoza were shot dead  (Handout)
Daniela and Sofia Mendoza were shot dead (Handout)

Two young sisters and a three-year-old boy were among the victims of a shooting at a shopping centre near Dallas over the weekend which left eight people dead.

Husband and wife Cho Kyu Song, 37 and Kang Shin Young, 35 – the boy’s parents – were also killed, leaving their six-year-old son an orphan.

“Cindy, Kyu and three-year-old James were among those victims that tragically lost their lives and the family is in deep mourning,” a GoFundMe post read, written by friends of the family, referring to the family by their American names.

“After being released from the ICU, their six-year-old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event.”

Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, 11 and eight, were among those slain Saturday at Allen Premium Outlets. They were remembered as “the kindest, most thoughtful students with smiles that could light up any room”, Principal Krista Wilson said in a letter to parents.

Only six-year-old William (bottom) survived the massacre (gofundme)
Only six-year-old William (bottom) survived the massacre (gofundme)

Their mother, Ida, remains in hospital in critical condition, according to CBS News.

Also killed was security guard Christian LaCour, whose sister told CNN he was a “sweet, caring young man who was loved greatly by our family”.

The 20-year-old was “the kind of person who would just walk into the store and everyone in the room would light up because he was there,” said Max Weiss, a mall store employee.

Aishwarya Thatikonda, who was about to turn 28, was killed while visiting the mall with a friend.

She moved to the United States about five years ago to pursue her master’s degree and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2020.

Aishwarya Thatikonda had moved to the US roughly five years ago (AP)
Aishwarya Thatikonda had moved to the US roughly five years ago (AP)

“We were deeply saddened to learn this morning that an Eastern Michigan University graduate, Aishwarya Thatikonda, was among those killed in Saturday’s shooting at a mall outside of Dallas, Texas,” the university said in a statement. “Aishwarya graduated from Eastern in Dec. 2020 with a Master of Science in construction management.”

And on Monday the Texas Department of Public Safety also identified 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas as a victim in the massacre.

The 33-year-old suspect, Mauricio Garcia, was shot dead by a police officer who was responding to an unrelated call, ending the attack.

Investigators are now reviewing social media to look into the killer’s beliefs, reports CBS.

He was seen on video with a clothing patch with the letters RWDS, which stands for “Right Wing Death Squad”.

This is a phrase popular among right-wing extremists and white supremacy groups.