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Allen Premium Outlets Reopens To Public

Additional security was implemented
Photo: Brian Ashcraft | Local Profile

Three weeks after the shooting that claimed the lives of eight individuals and left several others wounded, Allen Premium Outlets opened on May 31, 2023.

Cars trickled in at 10 a.m. when the mall resumed operation. Additional security measures were set in place for the reopening of the outlets, and there was a noticeable police presence.  

“There will be officers on site that have been hired, by the outlet mall, as off-duty security,” Sergeant Jonathan Maness of the Allen Police Department told Local Profile. “It will be up to the outlet mall to determine how long they will continue those security measures.” 

Police vehicles patrolled the parking lot, and there was a noticeable increase in security. 

“I felt it was going to be safe,” said Mickel, a shopper visiting from the Philippines. “There is police, and statistically, nothing is going to happen.”

One security guard told Local Profile that he was flown in from out of state.

“We like this place, and we come here a lot — and we were so sad about what happened,” said Ruby, who came to buy a new purse with her husband Dan. “We need to be more careful about who gets guns.”

“More guns doesn’t make us more safe,” her husband added. 

Allen Strong stickers adorned storefronts, and news helicopters flew overhead. As the morning inched toward noon, more and more shoppers appeared. But the memory of the tragic and senseless shooting was palatable. 

“I got the chills and felt a pressure on my chest,” 14-year-old Max told Local Profile. He came for a new pair of shoes before a family trip. 

Not every shopper was aware of what happened just three weeks ago. At today’s reopening, Local Profile spoke to three women, staying in Frisco from Romania for a conference. By coincidence, the first day that that mall reopened was the only day they had free to go shopping. They didn’t know about the shooting, and were horrified when hearing of it for the first time. “Are we safe?” one of the women repeatedly asked Local Profile

Local Profile previously reported that despite the possibility of other establishments reopening earlier following the incident, the shopping center made the conscious decision to delay its reopening until after the funerals and memorials for the victims. No further details regarding the new memorial have been released by Allen Premium Outlets.

The mall will be resuming its operations with adjusted hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. However, it is advised that customers check with individual retailers before visiting, as each store will have the flexibility to set their own hours based on their specific requirements and gradually resume operations at their own pace.

Following the events of May 6, the community came together to honor and bid farewell to the eight victims who tragically lost their lives. The growing memorial adorned with flowers, stuffed animals and heartfelt notes, was taken down as the mall began preparing to reopen. The community also organized various vigils and demonstrations to pay their respects and show solidarity.

A permanent memorial will also be created, according to a statement from the outlets. It will likely be several months before shoppers begin seeing the memorial. 

“As we prepare to reopen Allen Premium Outlets, we do so with deep gratitude for the compassion and goodwill of so many,” read the company’s statement. “As we remember the victims, their families and all who loved them, plans for a permanent memorial have begun.” 

Messiah Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas sent out its comfort dog ministry to help the community heal as the outlet mall reopened. Six Golden retrievers waited patiently for pets under a blue tent. 

"Our comfort dogs go wherever they're needed," Carolyn Nussman of the comfort dog ministries told Local Profile. Right now, they're needed in Allen, Texas.