Texas police confirm Allen Mall shooter was neo-Nazi

In the first press conference held by police officials since Saturday’s massacre at the Allen, Texas mall, Dallas Public Safety Regional Director Hank Sibley confirmed on Tuesday that the 33-year-old gunman, Mauricio Garcia, had a “neo-Nazi ideation.”

The mass shooting left eight people dead, including a three-year-old, eight-year-old and 11-year-old.

Large crosses are constructed at a makeshift memorial by the mall where several people were killed several days earlier, Monday, May 8, 2023, in Allen, Texas. [AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez]

“He had patches, tattoos, even his signature verified that,” Sibley said, confirming that photos posted on a social media account showing Garcia with a swastika on his chest and “SS” bolts on his arm were genuine.

The same social media account, which was maintained by Garcia for three years, featured photos of the body armor and weapons he used in the massacre as well as photos of the mall taken weeks in advance of the attack. In addition to posting racist, antisemitic and violent content, the gunman posted dozens of pictures of fascists dressed in Nazi uniforms, which he captioned “my kind of people.” At least one post ended with the phrase “Heil Hitler.”

At the same press conference, Sibley confirmed that Garcia brought eight guns to the mall to carry out his attack. Five of the weapons were still in his vehicle, while three were found on his person, including an AR-15-style rifle. All of the weapons were legally purchased. Sibley said Garcia had a private security license and “no criminal history,” and was in the US Army in 2008 but separated before completing basic training.

Despite the mass of evidence that the shooter was a right-wing terrorist animated by the same political outlook as personalities ascendant in the Republican Party, such as neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and fascist podcaster Tim Pool, police say they are still “searching” for a motive.

In an interview on Fox News following the shooting, far-right Republican Governor Greg Abbott offered no political explanation for the latest massacre. Just last month, Abbott pledged to “swiftly” pardon US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murder for fatally shooting a protester during a demonstration in Austin, Texas in 2020 protesting the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd. Also in April, Abbott described five people murdered in an execution-style mass shooting in rural Cleveland, Texas as “illegal aliens.”

In the Fox News interview, Abbott said the latest mass killing was a “mental health” issue, and then pivoted to attacking immigrants, who, he claimed, were “flooding” the country with dangerous weapons and drugs.

On Monday and Tuesday, Abbott flooded his social media accounts with images of heavily armed soldiers landing in El Paso and setting up barbed wire in Brownsville. In a press release, he said the soldiers in El Paso were part of a new “Texas Tactical Border Force.”

The “Texas Tactical Border Force” will be equipped with “Blackhawk helicopters,” “drone teams,” “razor wire barriers” and “C-130s,” Abbott boasted. “Hundreds” of “specially trained soldiers... will be deployed to hotspots all along the border to... intercept and repel... migrants trying to enter Texas illegally,” the statement continued.

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The Biden administration is sending 1,500 active-duty US troops to the US-Mexico border on top of Abbott’s deployment, turning the region into a militarized war zone ahead of the May 11 expiration of Title 42, the Trump emergency order, continued by Biden, that used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to summarily expel migrants seeking asylum.

Police have yet to assign a motive in the Brownsville, Texas car crash Sunday morning outside an immigrant and homeless shelter that killed eight migrants and wounded 10 more. The driver of the vehicle, 34-year-old George Alvarez, a local resident, was charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault Monday night and is currently being held on a $3.6 million bond.

On Tuesday, Brownsville police officer Martin Sandoval said a blood test had determined that Alvarez had cocaine, benzodiazepines and marijuana in his body at the time of the crash. Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda said police had not yet “ruled out” that the crash was intentional. Several of the victims of the crash have reported to the media and the police that Alvarez cursed at them before running them over.

Cesar Romero, 34, a Venezuelan national who witnessed some of his friends being killed in the attack, told CNN that Alvarez yelled obscenities at the victims after running them over and then trying to flee the scene.

On Monday, a day after the crash, a man reportedly tried to ram the gate of the Ozanam Center and displayed a pistol, prompting a lockdown of the facility. In an update Tuesday morning, Ali Bradley of NewsNation reported that Brownsville police had arrested the man, who had pointed his gun at a security officer at the facility on Monday.

The attacks on immigrants have been facilitated by both capitalist political parties, which have fostered a right-wing climate of hate and distrust of migrants. This dynamic was on full display in an interview with Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar (Laredo) on Fox News this past Sunday. Cuellar refused to comment on the political ideology that animated the Allen mall shooting and instead backed Abbott’s deflection about mental health.

“I do agree with the governor on mental health,” Cuellar said, adding that, “in states that are blue (Democratic-controlled) you still get these types of mass shootings.”

He spent the rest of the interview criticizing Biden for not sufficiently militarizing the border and deporting immigrants and asylum seekers fast enough. “We are seeing people coming in, the border is open. We need to have a very simple thing at the border, repercussions. If people have to be returned, they have to be returned quickly, there have to be some repercussions at the border,” Cuellar said.