The shooting at the Killeen Mall shook the entire community.
Marguerite Wright, who was there at the shopping center that night, is still taking it all in.
“You never know what it’s like until you experience something like that. People see it on TV, people see it on YouTube, people see it in the news but it’s different when it happens to you,” said Wright.
Wright called the Killeen police around 7:14 p.m., but between the time it took the officers to get there and control the scene she felt unprotected.
“The police had M-16s and everybody was kind of outside but nobody was inside. Just a few officers and that was it,” said Wright.
Other witnesses feel the same.
“It probably wouldn’t hurt to carry a gun. Not trying to be a hero and just so you can protect yourself.”
Local weapons instructor and gun shop owner Juan Varona believes the situation would play out differently if someone was armed and trained.
“It’s better if you have the license or have the constitutional law. Not to be a hero but at least to be a Good Samaritan and react to that,” said Varona.
The local veteran said he himself stepped up years ago to stop store robbers from making an escape.
That’s the only time he unholstered his firearm.
“I went to my handgun and I pointed at them I said stop and get out the car... they did,” said Varona.
Others believe their tighter gun laws and less access to weapons, would be a safer solution. However, Varona said criminals do not obey laws.
“Make them be afraid of the victim. When that happens that person will think twice to do whatever they were doing,” said Varona.