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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Lauren Aratani

Texas mall shooting victims include grade-school sisters and young engineer

people stand and look forward
People gather for a prayer vigil on Sunday in Allen, Texas. Photograph: LM Otero/AP

Details are emerging about those who were killed in a mass shooting at a shopping center in Allen, Texas, near Dallas, on Saturday afternoon. Nine people were killed, including the gunman, and at least seven others were injured.

Authorities have yet to provide details about the exact series of events and publicly release the identities of the victims, but families, friends and organizations have released some information. Those killed include an engineer from India, a security guard, a Korean American family and two young children. Here is what we know so far:

Christian LaCour, 20

Christian LaCour’s grandmother, Sandra Montgomery, wrote in a public Facebook post that her grandson, a security guard at the mall, was killed in the shooting.

“He was such a beautiful soul, 20-year-old with goals for his future,” she wrote. “I was so proud of him and so glad I got to see him two weeks ago.”

Montgomery said the family “are very close and I know this is almost unbearable” for them.

Aishwarya Thatikonda, 27

Aishwarya Thatikonda, from Hyderabad, India, moved to the United States five years ago to study engineering. She worked for a Dallas company as a project engineer.

Volunteers with the Telugu Association of North America, or Tana, rushed to get information from officials about Thatikonda when she was reported missing after Saturday’s shooting. Officials eventually confirmed to the non-profit that Thatikonda was among the victims.

Thatikonda was with a man, who was injured in the shooting and is being treated at a nearby hospital.

“The families are thousands and thousands of miles away,” Ashok Kolla, a volunteer with Tana, told the Guardian.

Three members of a Korean American family

The Korean consulate told the Dallas Morning News that a Korean American couple, Cho Kyu Song, 37, and Kang Shin Young, 35, were killed along with their young child, James, three. Their first child, William, six, was injured in the shooting.

“The Korean consulate joins the people of Dallas-Forth Worth area to express our deepest condolences for the victims and their families,” Myoung-Joon Kim, head of the Korean consulate in Dallas, told the Dallas Morning News. “We pray for the victims and their family members for their healing and recovery.”

A GoFundMe page for the family has been set up for the family.

Two elementary school students

Wylie school district in Dallas sent a note to parents and students saying that two students, Daniela Mendoza, who was in fourth grade, and Sofia Mendoza, who was in second grade, were victims in the shooting, according to CBS News Texas.

Krista Wilson, principal of Cox elementary, where the two sisters attended school, said in a note to parents: “Words cannot express the sadness we feel as we grieve the loss of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mendoza family, the families of the victims and all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”

An email from the Wylie school district superintendent, David Vinson, said that their mother, Ilda Mendoza, is in critical condition, according to the Dallas Morning News.

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