The names of the eight people killed in Saturday’s shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas have been identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Allen city officials announced Monday.
They include two sisters who attended an elementary school in a neighboring town, a husband and wife and their 3-year-old son, an engineer from India, and a young security guard.
The victims’ names began to emerge nearly 48 hours after the alleged gunman Mauricio Garcia, 33, opened fire Saturday outside an outlet mall in Allen, Texas. Garcia was killed by police responding to the shooting.
Here’s what we know about the people who died from the attack:
Sofia Mendoza and Daniela Mendoza
Sisters Sofia Mendoza and Daniela Mendoza attended Cheri Cox Elementary School in the Wylie Independent School District, where Sofia was in second grade and Daniela in fourth, according to WFAA-TV. The district identified them in an e-mail to the school community and said their mother, Ilda, is in critical condition after the shooting, WFAA reported.
Cox principal Krista Wilson called the girls “rays of sunshine” in the email.
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Kyu Song Cho, Cindy Cho, and their 3-year-old son
Three members of a family of four were among those gunned down in Saturday’s shooting, according to a GoFundMe page set up by their friends.
Kyu Song Cho, 37, Cindy Cho, 35, and one of their two sons, a 3-year-old, were fatally shot during “an afternoon that should have been filled with light, love, and celebration unfortunately was cut short by another mass shooting massacre,” the GoFundMe post said.
“Cindy, Kyu, and three-year-old James were among those victims that tragically lost their lives and the family is in deep mourning,” the post read, adding: “After being released from the ICU, their six-year-old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event.”
The fundraiser has collected more than $504,000 of its initial $50,000 goal as of 7 p.m. ET Monday.
Meanwhile, Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, also released a video message Monday afternoon acknowledging the family was among the school community.
“We’re fortunate in the fact that we have several professionals that have been in the classroom with me today just to even visit with the students who are directly or indirectly impacted by this,” said Mike Goddard, Prestonwood Christian Academy School System superintendent. “We’re very family-oriented and we rely on God in times like this.”
Christian LaCour, 20
Christian LaCour was a security guard working at the mall when he was killed Saturday, family members told CNN and WFAA. LaCour was a “sweet, caring young man who was loved greatly by our family,” his sister, Brianna Smith, told CNN.
Max Weiss, who worked in a store a the mall, also told CNN LaCour was “the kind of person who would just walk into the store and everyone in the room would light up because he was there. … He brought laughter and joy.”
LaCour’s mother, Tracye Norris LaCour, said on Facebook that she and the family are “broken,” according to WFAA.
“He’s [my] baby, my light, my peace and he’s gone,” Norris LaCour said, adding: “At this time there is nothing we need except prayers and time to mourn together as a family.”
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Aishwarya Thatikonda, an engineer from India, lived in McKinney, Texas, seven miles north of Allen. A family representative told WFAA that Thatikonda was visiting the mall with a friend, who was injured in the shooting and is in stable condition at a hospital.
Thatikonda was a few days shy of turning 28, Ashok Kolla, a spokesperson with the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) told CNN. The nonprofit organization helps the Telugu community in the United States.
Thatikonda is described by family and friends as a loving and hard-working person who was respected by co-workers, Kolla said. Thatikonda moved to the U.S. about five years ago to pursue her master’s degree, Kolla said.
The family wants to have Thatikonda’s body sent to India, Kolla told CNN.
Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32
On Monday, the Texas Department of Public Safety identified Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32, of Dallas as a victim of the deadly mall shooting.
Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz and John Bacon, USA TODAY