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Texas mall shooting victims include 2 young sisters, a 3-year-old boy and his parents

Three children among the dead in shooting
Three children are among at least eight people killed in Texas mall shooting over the weekend 03:52

Families and officials are releasing the names of the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas mall on Saturday. They include two young sisters, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, and three members of the Cho family — parents and their 3-year-old son. Here is what we're learning about the lives lost.

Daniela Mendoza and Sofia Mendoza

Two young sisters, Daniela Mendoza, 11, and Sofia Mendoza, 8, died in the rampage at the Allen Premium Outlets mall, according to a message to families from Superintendent David Vinson of the Wylie Independent School District. Daniela Mendoza was in fourth grade and Sofia Mendoza was in second grade at Cox Elementary in Sachse, Vinson said.

Principal Krista Wilson described the girls as "rays of sunshine," according to Vinson. 

Their mother, Ida, was one of the seven other people wounded in the shooting and was in critical condition, the superintendent said.

Cindy Cho, Kyu Cho and James Cho

A 3-year-old boy, James Cho, and his parents, Cindy and Kyu, were also killed, John Jun, a co-founder of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Korean American Coalition, confirmed to CBS News. 

The couple's older son, a 6-year-old, was wounded in the shooting but survived, CBS Texas reports.

Cindy and Kyu Cho, alongside their three-year-old son James GoFundMe

Christian LaCour

Christian LaCour, 20, was also among the deceased victims, his father confirmed to CBS News. LaCour was working as a security guard at the mall on Saturday.

Christian LaCour was identified as one of the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas.
Christian LaCour was identified as one of the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas.

Aishwarya Thatikonda

Aishwarya Thatikonda, 26, was also among the deceased, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a Monday afternoon news release. She was from India and was a civil engineer working at a general contracting business based in Frisco. She would have turned 27 later this month, according to the station.

Aishwarya Thatikonda

She was known as Aish and was famous for her trademark smile, said her boss, Srinivas Chaluvadi, CBS Texas reported.

"She's loved and adored, not because she was killed under tragic circumstances, but because who she is personally," he said. "I do not, my heart does not let me give credit for all of this love and affection for the tragic way that she was killed. This love and affection and respect is not out of sympathy. They truly love her. And I truly love her." 

Elio Cumana-Rivas

Elio Cumana-Rivas, a 32-year-old from Dallas, was also among those killed, the Department of Public Safety said.

Elio Cumana-Rivas

"Our community has just been hit, and it hurts," Allen Mayor-elect Baine Brooks said during a vigil Sunday.

The suspect's history

The gunman, identified by authorities as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, was shot and killed by a police officer who was at the mall in Allen for an unrelated call. Investigators are looking into his history, including possible extremist views. The Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism says social media posts indicate he was "obsessed with violence" and embraced misogynistic, antisemitic and white supremacist ideologies, sporting large SS and Nazi tattoos.

Posts he made on a Russian social media network also suggest he had been researching the mall and planning the attack for weeks, The Associated Press reported.

Saturday's rampage came just over a week after another mass shooting in Texas, when five people, including a 9-year-old boy, were shot and killed in the town of Cleveland. According to authorities in that case, Francisco Oropeza went into a neighbor's home and opened fire after he was asked to stop shooting his gun late at night while a baby was trying to sleep.

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