Allen Outlets shooting memorial continues to grow as community grieves

The memorial continues to grow by the hour at the Allen Premium Outlets where eight people were killed in a mass shooting.

Around the clock, people dropped off flowers, notes, stuffed animals and various mementos.

Many stopped by to pay their respects to the victims as they try to cope and understand what happened at the outlet mall Saturday.

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A memorial for the Allen Premium Outlets mass shooting victims has been growing by the hour.

Officials said a 33-year-old gunman with a high-powered rifle opened fire on shoppers. He killed eight people and injured seven others before he was taken down by an Allen police officer who was at the mall for an unrelated call.

The victim's names are written in white across giant black crosses at the mall: Cindy and Kyu Cho and their 3-year-old son, James Cho, 11 and 8-year-old sisters Daniela Mendoza and Sophia Mendoza, 26-year-old Aishwarya Thatikonda, 20-year-old security guard Christian LaCour, and 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas.

The Cho’s 6-year-old son, William Cho, and Daniela and Sophia’s mother, Ilda, were among the injured victims. Another injured victim, Irvin Walker, said LaCour died trying to help him.

Medical City Healthcare said as of Wednesday morning only one injured victim remains in critical condition. Two others are in fair condition and three are now in good condition.

On Wednesday, employees from Trader Joe’s in Plano dropped off a truckload of flowers at the memorial.

"It just hits home when it’s here. So, we just wanted to show our appreciation and reach out to the families and the ones that got hurt," said Michael Nassios, an assistant manager at the store.

An assistant manager for Trader Joe's in Plano brings flowers to the memorial at Allen Premium Outlets.

Other people visiting the memorial said they were there just to grieve with others, the visit bringing them a range of emotions.

"We just came out here because we felt like it was good for us to just pray with people," said Teri Leake.

Leake and her husband, a pastor at Harvest Baptist Church, said they’ve been visiting the memorial to pray with as many people as possible.

"It’s pure evil. It has left this community reeling and in shock and broken. There's discouragement fear and anger," Pastor J.D. Leake said.

Teri Leake estimates they've offered counsel to nearly a hundred people at the mall over the last two days.

Despite the crowds that continue to pay tribute at the memorial, the scene rains somewhat silent.

This latest mass shooting weighing on everyone's hearts.

"You would never think it would happen out here being a small town and very safe. At this point, it can happen anywhere," said Kelcey Banks. "My heart will go out forever and ever for the families and the victims."

Allen police provided extra security support for Thursday evening’s vigil. Hundreds of people gathered at the mall for a night of prayer and reflection.            

The daughter of one shooting victim who survived was among the attendees.

Jasmine Walker, the daughter of Irving Walker, says there's no feeling like knowing your dad or other family member is in the hospital. She says she's her dad's bodyguard right now. 

Irvin walker was shot three times by the gunman, suffering wounds to his chest and shoulder. He remains in the hospital following surgery.

"I'm a little bit more on edge. I try to think about what my dad would say, which is that you are protected. But there's definitely apprehension and protection to leave the hospital, especially right now," Jasmine said. "I'm his bodyguard right now. I like to stay right beside him, try to go out and get some air sometimes. I like where I'm at right next to him right now."

At the same time as the vigil, St. Jude Catholic Church off Greenville Avenue in Allen held a special mass of peace and healing. Eight candles and names were read as they lit each candle at the beginning of mass. 

How to Help the Victims

There are several ways to help the families of the victims killed and wounded at Allen Premium Outlets.

The city of Allen has a list of verified fundraisers on its website.

The FBI urged those who choose to donate to other fundraisers to vet them first because it has spotted fake fundraisers online.