Officials reported on May 8 that two sisters, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, were among the eight casualties of a shooting incident on May 6 at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas. The lone gunman, identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, opened fire and was subsequently neutralized by a responding officer.
During the shooting incident on Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, accompanied by their mother, Ilda Mendoza, were among the shoppers fired upon by the attacker. Tragically, Daniela and Sofia died on the spot while their mother suffered injuries and is currently in critical condition at a hospital.
On Monday, the Wylie Independent School District released a statement informing parents that the two young victims of the shooting, Daniela Mendoza (11) and Sofia Mendoza (8), were residents of Sachse, Texas.
According to reports, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, who hailed from Sachse, Texas, attended Cox Elementary School and were also enrolled in classes at Wylie Elite Cheer.
School authorities disclosed that Daniela was a fourth-grade student at Cox Elementary while Sofia was in the second grade. Cox Elementary’s principal, Krista Wilson, described the two sisters as “rays of sunshine” in a statement by NBC News.
Through a Facebook statement, Wylie Elite expressed their grief over the tragic deaths of the young sisters, Daniela and Sofia Mendoza. They urged people to pay tribute to the girls by wearing yellow, their favorite color, for the week. The gym’s team also disclosed that Daniela and Sofia were the nieces of one of the families associated with the gym. According to the statement
“The Allen Outlet tragedy has hit our gym in a personal way. Two of the victims, who were sisters and lost their lives this past weekend, not only took classes at Wylie Elite but are nieces to one of our team’s families. Our hearts are broken for these families. They shared that one of their favorite colors was yellow. To honor these young ladies, WE want everyone to wear yellow this week.”
David Vinson, the superintendent of the Wylie district, conveyed his condolences to the family of the two girls, stating: “Words cannot express the sadness we feel as we grieve the loss of our students.