Texas mall massacre civilian responder Steven Spainhouer recounts violence

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A frantic dad who rushed to the scene of the Saturday mass shooting at a Texas mall that left nine people dead, including the unidentified gunman, and injured seven recounted the horrors of losing three victims he had tried to save — and finding a blood-soaked child who survived the massacre by taking shelter underneath his slain mother.

Steven Spainhouer raced to the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, 25 miles north of Dallas, around 3:30 p.m. after his son, who worked at the mall’s H&M, called to say multiple shots had been fired in a terrifying onslaught that would eventually claim the lives of eight people.

Spainhouer told CBS News that he arrived before any first responders and quickly began to administer first aid — all while other bystanders took videos of the bloodied victims laying on the ground.

“I never imagined in 100 years I would be thrust into the position of being the first first responder on the site to take care of people,” Spainhour reportedly said.

“The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes, so I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side and she had no face.”


Steven Spainhouer raced to the Texas mall after his son, who worked at H&M, told him there had been gunshots fired.
Twitter/@crimewithbobby

shooting
Eight people died in the massacre, while at least seven others were wounded.
via REUTERS

Spainhouer then discovered a child who survived the massacre by hiding under his mother, who had died.

“When I rolled the mother over, he came out. I asked him if he was OK and he said, ‘My mom is hurt, my mom is hurt,’” Spainhouer recalled. “So rather than traumatize him anymore, I pulled him around the corner sat him down. He was covered from head to toe…like somebody poured blood on him.”

When asked if he thought his life-saving efforts made any difference Spainhouer said he wasn’t sure, since three people he had tried to help died.


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The lone gunman was killed by a police officer at the scene.
via REUTERS

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Six of the victims were found dead at the scene, while two others died at the hospital.
AP

The images of the bloodied victims are something Spainhouer says will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“No one can see what they saw today and not be affected by it. It’s not a situation I would wish upon anybody, it’s just unfathomable to see carnage.”

Eight people were killed and at least seven others were injured by a gunman dressed in black tactical gear who began firing in the mall’s parking lot. The gunman was shot dead by a police officer at the scene.


Steven Spainhouer
Steven Spainhouer said it was “unfathomable” to see all the carnage.
Twitter/@crimewithbobby

shooting
Police have not shared information about the shooting’s victims.
Twitter/@crimewithbobby

An officer who was at the mall responding to an unrelated call heard the shots, ran toward the sound, and “engaged and neutralized the threat,” Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey told reporters at a press briefing Saturday.

Six victims of the shooter were found dead at the scene, while nine others were transported to area hospitals for treatment, two of which later died from their wounds, Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said. 


Allen Police Chief
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said an officer who had been at the scene for an unrelated reason responded to the shooting.
Getty Images

Police did not give the ages of the victims but witnesses said children were among the casualties — and that they saw what looked like a cop or mall guard wounded on the ground. 

Chilling footage of the moment the gunman causally got out of his car and opened fire on shoppers was caught on dashcam video.

The man, who is in his 30s, lived with his parents in Dallas, according to WFAA-TV. Police believe he acted alone.

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