Here’s what Texas mall shooter posted on social media, and why it didn’t prevent attack

FORT WORTH, Texas — The man who killed eight people and wounded seven others at the Allen Premium Outlets on May 6 posted speeches, a manifesto, and photos and rants glorifying mass shootings, white supremacy and Nazism on a Russian social media site for months leading up to the attack.

Much of what the 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia wrote and shared on social media was similar to ideologies and beliefs shared by other mass shooters in recent years, from racism, misogyny and neo-Nazi ideation to talk about being an “incel” and expressions that he was better off as a loner.


The younger a mass shooter is, the more likely it is law enforcement will find significant details on the shooter’s ideology and even explanations of their plans, University of North Texas criminology lecturer Robert Wall told the Star-Telegram. The Allen shooter’s social media presence, which Wall described as “massive,” isn’t as common.

But its use to law enforcement in preventing an actual mass shooting is limited.

“It’s so often on the media (companies that own social platforms) to form an algorithm to prevent that beforehand,” Wall said. “You’re trying to isolate what is a common but uncommon occurrence. Mass shootings are a small portion of all the shootings. They’re horrific when they occur, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to look for and predict a mass shooter just before they’re about to be involved in a mass shooting.”

With social media sites operated in America, the number of posts moderators see every day can make it next to impossible to identify patterns and people who are a high risk for committing mass shootings, especially when the posts can be made across multiple platforms or accounts. When looking at the broader internet, with chat rooms and foreign social media networks like Odnoklassniki, the Russian platform the Allen shooter used, warning signs on social media become even harder to detect because the platforms don’t have to adhere to American laws or follow industry standards in the U.S.

There are still things law enforcement can learn after the fact that, given time, can be helpful in identifying high-risk individuals, Wall said.

Screenshots of the Russian social media account used by Garcia seem to indicate he planned the mass shooting for months. They included written speeches where he espoused racist, homophobic, neo-Nazi and other bigoted ideologies and links to a YouTube channel that appeared to belong to the gunman.

The Star-Telegram attempted unsuccessfully several times to create an account on the Russian social media site to independently review the account.

On the account, Mauricio Garcia posted photos that appeared to be from trips to the mall during which he scouted the location, and screenshots of its Google profile, including estimates of the busiest times at the mall. The shooting happened around those busiest times on a Saturday afternoon.

According to the screenshots of his social media account, Garcia also posted photos taken from other websites of Latino people dressed in Nazi attire at weddings and social gatherings and doing the Nazi salute, which he captioned, “My kinda people.”

He also posted a handwritten encrypted message and wrote that he wouldn’t give any hints and shared photos of his tattoos and their prices, including a swastika, the Nazi SS symbol, the City of Dallas logo and the Fort Worth panther.

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