A year after the Allen shooting, one survivor is still trying to find a way forward

Lewisville resident Irvin Walker was among the seven injured victims in last year’s Allen Premium Outlets shooting. He’s still on the long path to physical and mental recovery.

By Toluwani Osibamowo, KERA NewsMay 7, 2024 10:15 am, ,

From KERA News:

Irvin Walker was sitting in his car when he felt the bullets hit his upper torso one year ago.

At first, all he noticed was broken glass. Then Walker saw a man aim and shoot through his window in the Allen Premium Outlets parking lot.

“I could hear people screaming, and then I could see the blood,” he said. “It had happened so quickly. I’m not sure what happened first, but, yes, I could see someone and I knew I had to evade them. I had to get past that person.”

Eight people were killed and seven were injured by 33-year-old gunman Mauricio Garcia. The victims killed ranged in age from 3 to 37 years old.

The doctors who cared for Walker said he had too many wounds to count, including from bullet fragments. After three surgeries, he’s still in physical therapy today. The 47-year-old appreciates the nights in which he can get some sleep even with his shoulder pain.

In an interview with KERA News, Walker said his life was forever changed in Allen that day.

“In the beginning, things were going so smooth,” he said. “You had outside help, calls, texts, emails. When those go away, you’re quiet, you’re not productive in your work environment, and you just have to think about, ‘wow — why me?’”

Irvin Walker is originally from Louisiana and lives with his 25-year-old daughter Jasmine Walker in Lewisville.

Jasmine Walker was out of state when her father was shot. She told KERA at a vigil last year her dad was her best friend.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Our family and his (fraternity) brothers were there to kind of keep me informed, but it’s nothing like being in a room of a loved one that’s hurt.”

The car Irvin Walker drove the day he was shot multiple times by a gunman at the Allen Premium Outlets.
Courtesy Tiara Tucker

Garcia was killed by police at the scene. He was an ex-Army member who NPR confirmed was discharged for mental health reasons. Law enforcement said he had eight legally purchased weapons with him at the time of the shooting. He signed a security guard application with a Nazi SS symbol, but still got his license.

Officials didn’t label the shooting a hate crime despite evidence of Garcia’s “neo-Nazi ideation.”

Walker’s attorney Daryl Washington said more could have been done to prevent what happened — by the military, by gun sellers and even by the Allen mall property managers.

He also said the mall hasn’t checked in with his client.

“The city of Allen has reached out, the hospital has reached out to see how he’s doing,” Washington said. “Everybody has reached out except the property management company.”

Jasmine Walker – daughter of Irvin Walker, who was injured in the Allen shooting – talks during a vigil for the victims May 10, 2023.
Yfat Yossifor / KERA

Simon Property Group did not respond to KERA’s request for comment. Washington said a lawsuit is likely.

But even with Walker’s firsthand experience, he said he has no interest in joining the broader political conversation about gun violence in America. Instead, when he’s ready, he’s looking to help other families who are dealing with the aftermath of gun violence.

“That may be my role in this, of creating resources for families,” he said. “How do they get income? How do they get donations or state aid? Federal aid?”

But before that happens, Walker said he still has a long road of healing ahead.

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