Following a week of mourning, the memorial built outside Allen Premium Outlets to honor the May 6, 2023, mass shooting victims was removed on Tuesday, May 16 as multiple vigils are still being held by the North Texas’ grieving community.
The removal of the memorial does not necessarily mean the shopping mall will open again. As reported by The Dallas Morning News, Allen Premium Outlets managers told business owners and tenants that they are waiting for funeral services to be completed before reopening.
Since the May 6 events, in addition to the growing memorial where people bright flowers, stuffed animals and notes to cope with the loss of eight people, over the past week the community gathered to pay its respects and say goodbye in several vigils and demonstrations.
As previously reported by Local Profile, on May 11, the same day a funeral was held in Carrollton to mourn the Cho family, high school students across Texas organized a walkout in support of victims and to protest gun violence.
On Monday, May 15, family and friends of Christian LaCour, the 20-year-old security guard killed while trying to help wounded shoppers, celebrated his life in a private service at Cottonwood Creek Church in Allen. In the wake of the shooting, Allen Police honor LaCour’s heroic acts. “We must also acknowledge the bravery of Allied Security Guard Christian LaCour, who evacuated one individual to safety and was shot while courageously remaining to help others,” said Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey in a news conference last Tuesday.
Also on Monday, while authorities were still investigating the motives behind the shooting, the Dallas Asian American Historical Society gathered hundreds of local residents to honor the memory of the victims and to ask investigators to not exclude the possibility of a hate crime, calling attention to the fact that four out of the eight victims were of Asian descent.
“Allen and its adjacent cities of Plano, Frisco and Carrollton are home to one of the largest Asian American populations outside of the coasts,” told Dallas Asian American Historical Society co-founder and executive director Stephanie Drenka to CBS News.
On Tuesday, May 16, the Cross Church in Wylie gathered to remember Daniela and Sofia Medoza, two elementary students killed in the shooting. Days after the tragedy, the community built a memorial outside of Cox Elementary School in Wylie ISD where the girls attended.
“It’s trauma and tragedy that I just simply can’t understand,” Wylie ISD superintendent David Vinson told WFAA. “The only thing that’s going to heal this is time as far as us being a little bit away from it because right now it just hurts.”
In a statement, Alex and Ilda Mendoze, the girls’ parents, thanked the community for all the support they received in the past few days, while Ilda was also recovering from injuries she suffered in the shooting. “You have truly shown us “THE WYLIE WAY,” reads the statement. “Thanks to all the organizations, institutions and individuals that have come together to help us plan our girls’ celebration of life.”