The mass shooting that occurred in a Dallas suburban shopping mall, resulting in the death of eight individuals, including a Korean family, appears to have been premeditated to take place during the busiest shopping time of the day, according to reports by The New York Times and the Associated Press.
The NYT reports that a social media account on a Russian-based platform, OK.RU, that matches the identity of the gunman, Mauricio Garcia (33), revealed a screenshot of a Google Maps page that shows the busiest times at the crime scene, where he had opened fire, as well as a motel where he had stayed on the day of his birthday.
Google Maps displays visitor traffic data for specific locations, including the peak hours on each day of the week in a bar graph format.
The AP also discovered an OK.RU account that matched Garcia’s identity, where he had searched for the busiest time at the mall in mid-May, just before the day he committed the shooting.
The photo on his account showed that the busiest time at the mall was on Saturday afternoon, which coincides with the time of the shooting.
A Korean-American witness who was at the scene at the time of the incident shared in an interview with a Korean-American broadcaster that there were more people than usual at the mall on that Saturday, as people were preparing for Mother’s Day, which is celebrated as a national holiday in the United States.
The AP reported that the gunman had joined the military in 2008 but was discharged after three months due to mental health issues. After leaving the military, he worked as a security guard for several security firms.
Additionally, his social media account revealed that he had a fascination with white supremacy and gun violence, which he portrayed as a “sport,” and featured photos of his large Nazi tattoos on his arms and torso.