Social Media Swamped With Photo Blaming Wrong Guy For Mass Shooting At Texas Outlet Mall - Social Media Explorer
Social Media Swamped With Photo Blaming Wrong Guy For Mass Shooting At Texas Outlet Mall
Social Media Swamped With Photo Blaming Wrong Guy For Mass Shooting At Texas Outlet Mall

On Saturday in Allen Texas, a gunman shot at an outlet shopping mall, killing 8 people. He also wounded 7 others. A police officer then killed him. The shooter, identified as Mauricio Gárcia, was 33 years old. This led to people searching for his name on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, spreading the mugshot. What’s the only problem? That’s the wrong Mauricio Garcia.

Above screenshot is from the Greg Kelly ReportsThe photo was shown on Newsmax on Monday evening. The photo has been circulating on social media for the last few days, with false claims that the person pictured is the gunman.

The photo does show a Mauricio Garcia, but he’s 36 years old, three years older than the actual shooter who opened fire on innocent bystanders on Saturday. That man’s mugshot was taken on August 4, 2022 when he was arrested and he has nothing to do with the shooting at an Allen outlet mall over the weekend.

According to NBC News the real shooter, Mauricio, was a neo Nazi who believed in white supremacy. The researcher Aric Toler, who works for Bellingcat, was the first to identify the shooter’s social media account with Russian-based platform Odnoklassniki. The account has photos believed to depict the real shooter, which has caused even more confusion online because they don’t match the photos that were first circulated by amateur internet sleuths over the weekend.

In fact, the wrong photo became so common that it’s created conspiracy theories on platforms like Twitter where people believe some kind of government-perpetrated hoax is happening. Twitter CEO Elon Musk even seemed to entertain the possibility of a conspiracy on Monday, engaging with several Twitter accounts—End WokenessYou can also find out more about the following: The Redheaded Libertarian, among others—who suggested the discrepancy between the photos was a “psyop.”

“Where did the shooter’s neck tattoo go?” one Twitter user asked in a viral tweet.

The photos, however, show two people who are not the actual shooter. The man wearing the neck tattoo was not the shooter.

The Garcia who perpetrated the shooting on Saturday enlisted in the Army in June 2008, according to NPR, but Army staff “quickly identified he was a problem.” The Wall Street Journal notes Garcia didn’t even make it through basic training and was kicked out over an unspecified mental health issue.

Disturbingly, Garcia’s social media profile indicates he was monitoring the mall three weeks before the attack, even posting a screenshot of when Google indicated there would be the heaviest foot traffic. Google indicated that Allen Premium Outlets were busiest Saturday afternoons. Garcia appeared to be aware of this fact.

Part of the online outrage over Garcia’s identity seems to stem from the fact that he was a Latino who espoused white supremacist ideas. Garcia was reportedly wearing a patch that read “Right Wing Death Squad,” according to local police and his profile shows admiration for Nazis like Josef Mengele, who was known as the Angel of Death.

While these associations may seem odd at first, they make sense when you consider the recent rise in extremists of Latino descent, like the neo Nazi Nick Fuentes, and Proud Boys’ leader Enrique Tarrio. It is clear that the issue of race has been constantly renegotiated. The history of Italian immigrants may be the best way to explain this constant flux. A century ago, no Anglo-American would’ve considered Italian immigrants to be white. Today, most Americans of Italian descent would probably call those who are white.

Allen Police Department has identified eight victims who died at an outlet mall in Allen on Saturday. Minors’ identities have been kept anonymous.

  • Female, age 11, Sachse, TX
  • Female, age 8, Sachse, TX
  • Kyu Song Cho, male, age 37, Dallas, TX
  • Cindy Cho is a female aged 35 years old, living in Dallas, TX
  • Male, age 3, Dallas, TX
  • Christian LaCour (male), age 20. Nevada, TX
  • Elio Cumana-Rivas, male, age 32, Dallas, TX
  • Aishwarya Thisikonda is a female aged 26 years old, living in McKinney.

Texas Department of Public Safety did not respond immediately to an email sent late on Monday. It was the office that had been the first to publically identify the shooter. I’ll update this post if I hear back.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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