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Dallas mugshots misrepresented as gunman in mall shooting

May 9, 2023 GMT

CLAIM: Two images available from third-party mugshot websites show Mauricio Garcia, the gunman in Sunday’s deadly shooting at a Dallas-area mall.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The mugshots show a person named Mauricio Garcia, but not the one who carried out the attack, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. The shooter had no prior criminal history, according to officials.

THE FACTS: The gunman at the Allen Premium Outlets stepped out of a car and started shooting people, killing eight and injuring several others before a police officer killed him, according to authorities.

As credible information about the gunman, 33-year-old Garcia, emerged slowly, a spate of social media posts purported that two different mugshots showed the shooter.

“Here’s Mexican nationalist Mauricio Garcia, your Allen, TX mall shooter,” reads a tweet with one of the images, showing a man with pierced ears and a red T-shirt. Another tweet with a different mugshot, in which the man has a tattoo on the left side of his neck, reads: “BREAKING - Texas Mall Mass Shooting: 33-Year-Old Mauricio Garcia Identified as Gunman.”

Various posts sharing the two images racked up thousands of shares. But the widespread images do not show the gunman.

The photos in question are from third-party websites that share mugshots taken from local law enforcement agencies, and purport to offer booking information for a Mauricio Garcia arrested in Dallas County.

But the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department has never processed the suspect in the shooting, said spokesperson Doug Sisk. Sisk said in an email that the individual in the two mugshots seen online has the same name but a different birthday than the shooter.

Authorities have not yet publicly released a photo of the shooter.

The gunman had no criminal history before Sunday attack, Hank Sibley, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news conference Tuesday

Garcia apparently had been working as a security guard and was discharged from the U.S. Army in 2008 because of mental health issues.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.