Mall shooter was kicked out of the Army for mental issues

Marcela Rodrigues and Sue Ambrose
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The man authorities said killed eight people and wounded seven others at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday was terminated from the U.S. Army in 2008, an official said. And a social media profile reviewed by The Dallas Morning News that appears to belong to him contains posts about his own death, Nazi admiration, hatred of Black people and women and an eerie preview of the massacre.

Mauricio Garcia, the alleged gunman, was terminated after three months without completing initial training, U.S. Army spokeswoman Heather Hagan said. He was not deployed or awarded a specialty. Hagan said the army does not characterize why soldiers are discharged.

However, an Army official who declined to be named said Garcia was separated under a regulation related to a host of physical or mental conditions. The conditions ranged from seasickness and claustrophobia to other disorders that could disturb “perception, thinking, emotional control or behavior” enough that “the soldier’s ability to effectively perform military duties is significantly impaired.”

The social media account shows Garcia’s birth date, an email address matching his first name, an anecdote of others calling him “Mr. Garcia,” mentions of Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas and a picture that matches the tattoo seen in a photo of him after the shooting.

An Allen police officer shot and killed Garcia, 33, soon after he opened fire at the popular shopping center.

In social media posts in late April, Garcia appeared to glorify other mass shootings, stating the importance of knowing the shooter’s race and kill counts, and referencing the murders as an “art” and an “accomplishment.”

In posts last year and earlier this year, he also praised the “White Race,” made violent antisemitic remarks and repeatedly made sexually demeaning comments about women.

In mid-April, images of the Allen outlet stores are also in posts on the social media account. Photos show pictures of the mall’s exterior, and a screenshot from Google Maps at 3:31 pm on an April Saturday, showing that the mall was “as busy as it gets.” The shooting on Saturday began at about 3:30 pm.

After Saturday’s mass shooting, law enforcement executed search warrants at the Budget Suites hotel at 8150 N. Stemmons Freeway, where they said Garcia was staying, and at a home in northeast Dallas. County property records show a husband and wife owned the home; the wife’s name matches that of a woman listed as Garcia’s mother on birth records. Garcia graduated from Bryan Adams High School in 2008, a spokeswoman for the Dallas Independent School District said. He enrolled in Dallas College in 2018, but did not sign up for classes, a college official said.

Garcia has no history of incarceration within the state prison system, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Director of Communications Amanda Hernandez confirmed. He had an active misdemeanor warrant for drug paraphernalia in Garland from 2020, according to police records.

May 6, the day of the shooting, is the last post on the social media account.

It contains dark song lyrics, references to horror video games and reads like a suicide note: “Cremated as soon as possible,” it reads. “No open casket no funeral no headstone no marker.”


(Dallas Morning News staff researcher Jennifer Brancato contributed to this report.)


©2023 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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