Dave Shafer, a white man in a suit and tie with a neatly trimmed moustache and beard.
(Facebook/Dave Shafer)

Allen City Council Member Condemns Nazis, Also Compares Pride Flags With Fascist Flags

"I cannot say for certain he held Nazi views," Dave Shafer tweeted about the Allen gunman, who had swastika and SS tattoos.


Allen City Council member Dave Shafer recently tweeted that he is not certain that the Allen Premium Outlet mall mass shooter—who the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has confirmed had Nazi symbols tattooed on his body and expressed “neo-Nazi ideation”—held Nazi views.

“Oh I definitely condemn the shooter, and any belief he had,” Shafer wrote in a post on Twitter. “However, based on his other supposed tattoos and information reported in the press, I cannot say for certain he held Nazi views.” He added that “I of course condemn any race-based ideology, including Nazism.”

Shafer is only the second Allen-area politician and the first Republican to openly condemn Nazism in the wake of a mass killing perpetrated by Maurcicio Garcia, a 33-year-old man with a swastika tattoo on his chest who had included a Nazi symbol in his signature on government documents and a security guard application. Shafer is also the first to contradict statements made by the state law enforcement agency that is leading the investigation into the shooting. 

“We do know he had neo-Nazi ideation,” said DPS Regional Director Hank Sibley. “He had patches. He had tattoos. Even his signature, you know, verified that. That’s one thing we do know.”

A photo of the torso of Mauricio Garcia, the neo-nazi responsible for the Allen shooting, showing off his SS and swastika nazi tattoos.
“We do know he had neo-Nazi ideation,” said a representative of the Texas Department of Public Safety. (Mauricio Garcia’s social media)

Shafer’s obfuscation of Garcia’s beliefs fits a broader pattern of responses from the political right wing that downplay white supremacist violence in the United States. After Garcia brutally murdered eight people in Allen on May 6, a chorus of right-wing figures cast doubt on the authenticity of the shooter’s writings and tattoos. Among them was an account that Shafer has retweeted known as The Red Headed Libertarian—the nom de plume of a woman named Josie Tait who works for right-wing YouTuber Tim Pool. After the shooting, Tait claimed without evidence that Garcia was a gang member and asserted that evidence the shooter watched Pool’s show was a “psy-op.” Elon Musk boosted Tait’s idea, replying “this gets weirder by the moment.”

Shafer indicated that part of his uncertainty around Garcia’s Nazi views is due to what he called “other supposed tattoos.” This echoes misinformation spread by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and the True Texas Project, who claimed immediately after the shooting that Garcia was a member of a prison gang—as if that disqualified him as a Nazi. Prior to the mass shooting, Garcia had not committed any other serious crimes and had never served time in jail.   

“Shafer appears to be referencing a bit of speculative misinformation that went around from conservative social media influencers on Twitter,” said Jared Holt with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank focused on hate, extremism, and disinformation. “Public officials should seek to govern on the basis of verifiably true information, not speculation among conspiracy theorists they see on the internet.”

Independent reviews of Garcia’s diary entries and social media posts make it clear he had become immersed in an ecosystem of far-right media prior to the shooting.

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Right-wing figures who say they doubt Garcia’s ties to Nazis are the same who have simultaneously tried to frame the LGBTQ+ community as the true threat to America during Pride Month. Meanwhile, actual neo-Nazis have been mobilizing against LGBTQ+ events across the nation.

Just prior to posting the tweet about whether Garcia held Nazi views, Shafer retweeted a video originally posted by Tait that equated LGBTQ+ pride flag displays in contemporary America with Nazi flags during Hitler’s genocidal reign and called LBGTQ+ supporters a cult. 

“Council member Shafer has just won the Guinness Book of World Records in hoop jumping.”

“That it is,” Shafer wrote in his retweet. “And the closer they get to being truly found out, the more they will deflect by accusing others.”

“Council member Shafer has just won the Guinness Book of World Records in hoop jumping,” said Professor Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “What a disgrace to do everything he can to avoid calling a Nazi a Nazi while equating the LGBTQ+ community with Nazis and Nazism.”

A few days before, Shafer also drew an equivalence between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist groups, describing the neo-Nazi Aryan Freedom Network that recently rallied in Centerville as “just as bad as Antifa.”

Shafer describes himself as a “Texas Conservative” on his Twitter bio. His account on Truth Social, the social media website launched by recently indicted former President Donald Trump, features a header image that reads: “Welcome to Texas—please spay or neuter your liberal relatives.” 

“I’m having fun saying Nazis are bad without actually saying it and watching the lefties go into orbit because I won’t obey a demand,” Shafer wrote on Twitter.