It has been one week since a lone gunman, whom police identified as Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old Dallas resident, senselessly gunned down eight people, including three children.
Allen residents are picking up the pieces, and victims are being laid to rest by their loved ones. The message is clear — “Allen Strong,” as longtime Allen resident Pat Mulday called it, speaking to The Dallas Express Monday, May 8.
On Saturday, May 13, The Dallas Express traveled to Allen to see the memorial of crosses, flowers, and heartfelt notes that were left honoring and remembering the victims and their families.
When The Dallas Express arrived at the mall, a group of people could be seen holding hands and praying together.
People were coming and going, but all gathered and continued to leave heartfelt letters and flowers.
Much like last Saturday, May 6, the weather started out clear and sunny.
Some volunteers provided cold bottles of water and boxes of tissues for those that needed them. And many did, indeed, need them.
“I just showed up, and so put me to work I don’t know what I can do, use me, and a lot of people have done that and just being out here going, hey, I’ve got a tissue I got a hug would you like one would you like both,” said Shannon Alexander speaking to The Dallas Express.
“It’s about love and being the same level, there’s no you’re a CEO or there’s none of that stuff. It doesn’t matter, race doesn’t matter, or what religion you are. That’s the one thing I can say, that it has been the most beautiful thing about being out here for the last few days, just to see people really come together… it’s just beautiful.”
Inside the actual property, you can hear a pen drop; it’s as if the mall has been abandoned, and only a single security vehicle and police vehicle patrol the grounds where hundreds of shoppers would be.
The parking lot is empty, stores shuttered, and one week after the tragedy that shook an entire town — with funeral proceedings continuing — the sentiment is Allen Strong.