Sculpture Memorializes Victims From Allen Outlets Shooting

A permanent memorial outside the Allen Premium Outlets remembering the victims. | Image by NBC 5 DFW
A permanent memorial outside the Allen Premium Outlets remembering the victims. | Image by NBC 5 DFW

A new sculpture at Allen Premium Outlets commemorates the lives of eight lives lost last year in one of the most tragic events in the history of the City of Allen.

On May 6, 2023, a lone gunman opened fire on shoppers and mall workers, killing eight and injuring seven others before being killed by a heroic police officer. In contrast to the pain and chaos of that day, the 11-foot tall, curved steel monument situated at the northwest corner of the shopping center evokes a sense of peace and serenity.

The sculpture, nestled in a raised garden bed filled with seasonal plants, was designed by renowned artist Matthew Placzek, who wanted to create a place of “peaceful remembrance” for the victims of the mass shooting, he told The Dallas Express. A sitting area nearby offers visitors a place to rest and reflect.

It was important to Placzek that the sculpture was not just a “piece of cold steel.” All the work on the art installation, including the enamel coating, was done by hand so that the piece would reflect the warmth of the human touch, explained Placzek.

Placzek envisioned the piece as an “open vessel” with a spiral shape to help convey the idea of motion. The piece culminates with eight wind chimes at the top, one for each of the lives lost on the day of the shooting.

Placzek said that this particular sculpture was “an emotional piece” for him because it was “such an important piece to remember the lives lost. I was deeply honored that I was chosen to work on it. We wanted to get it right.”

A small sign placed near the sculpture reads, “Always Remembered. May 6, 2023.” The sign will eventually be replaced with a bronze plaque, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Placzek hopes that each time a gentle breeze blows, bringing the wind chimes to life, those nearby will remember the eight persons whose lives were lost that day: Christian LaCour, a security guard at the shopping center; Aishwarya Thatikonda, an engineer; Cindy and Kyu Cho and their 3-year-old son James; elementary school students and sisters Daniela and Sofia Mendoza; and Elio Cumana-Rivas, a Venezuelan national.

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