Indianapolis News and HeadlinesU.S./World


Man who witnessed Allen outlet mall shooting describes carnage: 'It's just unfathomable'

Steven Spainhouer
Posted at 10:12 PM, May 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-07 22:12:38-04

ALLEN, Texas (KTVT) — Shortly after a gunman opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets Saturday afternoon, Steven Spainhouer jumped into action.

Spainhouer rushed desperately to aid those wounded and dying after shots rang out a little after 3:30 p.m. May 6.

He said the victims had such horrific injuries that they had to be loaded into police cars because ambulances would not have gotten them to nearby trauma facilities fast enough.

When asked if he thought he saved any lives, Spainhouer said he's not sure, but knows he lost three people.

He said he raced to the shopping center when his son called to say there had been shots fired outside H&M—the store where he worked.

"When the multiple shots happened, my heart just dropped," he said. "I was on the phone with 911 and I was telling them we have a mass casualty incident."

Spainhouer said he got there before any first responders and while a handful of people around him recorded videos of the bodies on the ground, he tried to save lives.

"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," he shared. "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."

Spainhouer said he also found a child, who survived while covered by his protective mother who had been killed.

"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.' So rather than traumatize him, I pulled him around the corner sat him down and he was covered from head to somebody poured blood on him."

Spainhouer said what he witnessed Saturday will haunt him for the rest of his life.

"No one can see what we saw today and not be affected by it," he said. "It's not a situation I would wish upon anybody, it's just unfathomable to see carnage."

Spainhouer's son says two customers inside the H&M store were among those injured. "It's tough when you see a family that's out shopping, having fun, get wiped off the face of the Earth because somebody with a gun has some other type of issue."