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Korean couple and their 3-year-old son killed in Texas massacre

Korean couple and their 3-year-old son killed in Texas massacre

Posted May. 09, 2023 08:03,   

Updated May. 09, 2023 08:03


Three members of a Korean-American family have been reported dead, and one is in critical condition following a mass shooting at an outlet store in Texas. The family had reportedly visited the Allen Premium Outlets mall outside Dallas on Saturday afternoon when the tragic incident occurred.

According to the Dallas office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Houston and a Korean church in Dallas on Sunday, a Korean couple surnamed Cho (aged 38) and Kang (aged 36), and their three-year-old son were killed in the shooting that occurred the previous day. Their five-year-old child was taken to a hospital and is currently being treated.

A Korean media outlet reported that Cho and Kang were allegedly a lawyer and a dentist at a general hospital, respectively. “It’s hard to say much because the family is in shock,” said a local Korean church official who attended the hospital. “Everyone is in a state of huge shock right now,” he added. The couple were reportedly second-generation Korean Americans who were U.S. citizens but were active members of the Korean church.

As soon as the gunman got out of his vehicle, he opened fire on the outlet mall with an AR-15-style rifle, reportedly spilling more than 100 rounds of ammunition, according to CNN. The shooter was identified as Mauricio Garcia, a 33-year-old man, but his motive remains unclear.

According to media reports, Texas law enforcement officials are investigating whether this was a racial hate crime, as they believe the shooter had a history of “neo-Nazi” and white supremacist activities. The gunman, who was shot dead at the scene, was found wearing a Right-Wing Death Squad (RWDS) insignia on his clothing, which refers to far-right extremists. The Korean community in the U.S. has been shaken by the possibility that the gunman may have targeted Asians. Police officials have remained tight-lipped about the identities of the eight dead and seven injured, including their ethnicity.

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com