Who Was Aishwarya Thatikonda? Indian Engineer Who Moved to Dallas Two Years Ago Killed in Texas Mall Shooting While Shopping for Her Upcoming 28th Birthday

Aishwarya's family from Hyderabad is said to be in touch with a few organizations and Indian officials in the United States to bring the body back home.

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The second victim of the Texas mall shooting has been identified as a 27-year-old engineer who was shopping for her upcoming birthday when she was shot dead along with seven others. Aishwarya Thatikonda, who originally hails from Hyderabad, India, was identified today by a family member as one of the nine victims-- along with the shooter--of the massacre.

A male friend of Aishwarya was also injured in the gun violence. He suffered bullet injuries. Authorities have not yet given out his identity. Eight people were killed at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday morning after gunman Mauricio Garcia opened fire at the mall's parking lot.

Killed Before Her Birthday

Aishwarya Thatikonda
Aishwarya Thatikonda Twitter

Thatikonda, a project engineer who relocated to Dallas two years ago to work for Perfect General Contractors, was out with a friend on Saturday morning at the Allen Premium Outlets when gunman Garcia started shooting randomly after arriving at the mall in a silver car.

"She was very friendly and very loving," a family representative told WFAA, adding that Thatikonda's friend was injured in the shooting and is currently stable in the hospital.

Thatikonda's family lives in Saroornagar in Hyderabad, India, and she was staying alone in the United States. Her father is Additional District Judge Tatikonda Narsireddy, who is currently working at the Ranga Reddy District Commercial Courts complex.

According to reports, the man who was injured while shopping with Thatikonda was her fiancé.

Aishwarya Thatikonda
Aishwarya Thatikonda Twitter

Meanwhile, Aishwarya's family from Hyderabad is said to be in touch with a few organizations and Indian officials in the United States to bring the body back home.

Christian LaCour, 20, a security guard at the mall who was the first victim of the mass shooting to be identified on Sunday, was described as a "beautiful soul" by his grandma Sandra Montgomery.

"My beautiful grandson, Christian LaCour, was the security guard killed in the shooting at Allen, Texas. He was such a beautiful soul," she wrote.

Christian LaCour
Christian LaCour Twitter

A person who is close to LaCour's family wrote in another tribute post shared on Sunday that he was a "very sweet gentleman."

According to Kellie Smith, she felt fortunate to have "seen this sweet young boy blossom into a really sweet gentlemen," the woman posted on Facebook.

"Their will forever be a void. Please uplift his family in prayer as they navigate this unimaginable time of their lives. Christian you will always remain close to us because we will keep you in our hearts until we see you in Heaven," Smith wrote.

Motive of Shooter Unclear

Eight people including children were killed during the rampage, during which more than 100 shots were fired. Two were pronounced dead at the hospital and seven at the scene.

Mauricio Garcia
Mauricio Garcia Twitter

Officials claim that although nine casualties were also transferred by the fire department to hospitals, other agencies may have taken more.

Mauricio Garcia, 33, has already been identified as the shooter. He was shot and killed by a police officer after the incident on Saturday afternoon.

Police are also looking into any potential connections between Garcia and radical ideologies after the suspect was found with a patch on his chest that appeared to have white supremacist or neo-Nazi leanings, according to the Washington Post.

Police searched a Dallas home connected to Garcia's parents on Saturday night in the wake of the carnage outside the Allen Premium Outlets, and they also looked into a motel where the alleged shooter had booked an extended stay, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to local station WFAA-TV.

Garcia did not have a serious criminal past and was employed as a security guard. However, it is unclear where he worked as a security guard.

Texas mall shooter
The gunman who was in tactical gear was shot dead by the police moments after he opened fire Twitter

According to two senior law enforcement sources, a preliminary investigation of what is thought to be the shooter's social media accounts reveals hundreds of posts that contain racially or ethnically driven violent extremist speech, including neo-Nazi material and material endorsing white supremacy.

The Texas Online Private Security database shows that Garcia was authorized to work as a commissioned security guard in the state from April 2016 to April 2020 and had three prior jobs before his license expired.

According to records, he received proficiency training in firearms in 2015 and completed additional firearms training in 2018. DPS, which manages the database, immediately disqualifies applicants who have committed specific violent offenses.

Besides the AR-15 rifle, he used to carry out the massacre, more weapons and ammunition were found in Garcia's car, a source told NBC News. The gunman was wearing a patch on his chest with a right-wing acronym at the time of the massacre.

Garcia's neighbors told WFAA that although he regularly parked his gray Charger in front of his parents' home, neither they nor Garcia had been seen in recent weeks.

A gray vehicle was found at the scene of the massacre on Saturday. A man exited the car while wearing black military gear and brandishing an AR-15-style rifle before opening fire on customers in Allen, which is located about 25 minutes north of Dallas.

An officer on patrol in the vicinity who hurriedly screamed for assistance as he ran towards the shooting shot Garcia dead outside the H&M store.

Garcia's neighbors said that they had never seen him carrying a firearm at his parent's home and that they had no memories of him being involved in any incidents.

This article was first published on May 8, 2023