By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
DALLAS, USA (Worthy News) – Grief-stricken residents of a Dallas suburb learned Monday that a three-year-old boy and his parents, two elementary school children, and a young engineer from India were among the victims shot dead in a mall outlet.
James Cho died alongside his parents Cho Kyu Song, 37, and Kang Shin Young, 35, according to reports in the U.S. state of Texas. His six-year-old brother was injured but survived, authorities said.
A social media GoFundMe campaign to financially support the family had been launched, local media reported.
Monday’s identifications came as investigators probe whether the alleged killer had links to any far-right organizations or beliefs after reports that he did.
Eight people were fatally shot, and a half-dozen more were injured when a 33-year-old gunman, who was later shot dead by police, opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Dallas, officials confirmed.
The Cho family was at the Allen Premium Outlets mall on Saturday to exchange clothing their six-year-old son had received as a birthday gift a few days before, according to friends.
“An afternoon that should have been filled with light, love, and celebration, unfortunately, was cut short by another mass shooting massacre,” family friends wrote on the GoFundMe website page.
Korean consulate officials in Texas told the Dallas Morning News newspaper that the Cho family were American citizens of Korean descent and that diplomats are in contact with their family members.
Primary school pupils Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, sisters, were also killed. Their mother, Ida, remains in hospital in critical condition, several sources said.
The latest shooting, among a series of mass killings in the United States in recent months, has reignited a debate about the many guns available nationwide.
However, Texas Governor Greg Abbott blamed the incident on mental health issues.
Abbott, a Republican, said addressing mental health — not tightening gun laws — can prevent shootings such as the one on Saturday.
Law enforcement sources said the alleged gunman was in the U.S. Army in 2008 but was “removed due to mental health concerns.”
Investigators have found he also may have gravitated toward right-wing extremist ideology, including neo-Nazi sympathies.
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