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Mall shooting sees several people shot and shoppers evacuated: police

Several people were injured in a shooting Saturday afternoon at the Columbiana Center mall in Columbia, South Carolina, police said.

Chief of the Columbia Police Department, WH “Skip” Holbrook confirmed during a press briefing that there were no fatalities, but added that 12 people were injured, including 10 people with gunshot wounds. Two of the gunshot victims were in critical but stable condition.

The oldest victim is 73 while the youngest is 15, according to the police chief, who added that the information given in the briefing is preliminary as the investigation is still ongoing.

Holbrook also said at least three people were seen with guns in the mall and at least one fired a weapon. He confirmed that all three are currently being held, but are being treated as persons of interest and not suspects.

Holbrook said police believed the situation was not “random” and that the armed individuals knew each other and were engaging in “a type of conflict” that escalated into gunfire. He added that there were several shots fired.

“This was not a situation where a random person showed up at a mall to unload a gun [and] hurt people,” he said. No details were revealed on the type of firearms used.

A number of people were injured in a shooting at a mall in South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Above, a police tape surrounds an area of ​​a residential complex in the Bridgeport neighborhood on June 23, 2021 in Chicago.

The police chief described the situation as “chaotic”, but that firefighters “helped manage the scene by helping us. They stood shoulder to shoulder with law enforcement in the chaos” .

Holbrook also asked the public to stay out of the area as there are still law enforcement teams inside the mall helping to clear stores and evacuate employees, who were asked to shelter in place.

“We know a lot of people have seen a lot of different things,” Holbrook said. “We ask please take a moment [and] collect your thoughts and contact law enforcement.”

Earlier Saturday afternoon, the Columbia Police Department tweeted“We have confirmed that people were injured in the incident – they are receiving medical attention. The extent of injuries are unknown at this time. #ColumbiaPDSC officers evacuated the mall and moved people to safety .”

The mall’s main entrance on Harbison Boulevard has been closed, according to WIS 10 News.

Meanwhile, Fox Carolina News reporter Cody Alcorn tweeted that a woman was shot in the shoulder at the mall, according to the mother of the victim’s boyfriend.

“She’s going to do [a] full recovery. She was shot in [the] shoulder,” the victim’s mother said. “She won’t need surgery. She was outside, leaving [the] mall.”

Alcorn also reported that another victim was shot in the back of the leg and transferred to hospital by his wife.

Police have also warned mall workers not to leave the area inside the mall they are sheltering in for safety reasons.

“Employees inside the mall who have been told to shelter in place for safety, law enforcement officers will come to you as a protected escort. DO NOT leave a store before being ordered to do so by the competent authorities,” said the The Columbia Police Department said in another tweet.

Columbia Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly said police were “going from store to store and cupboard to cupboard looking for someone with a weapon.” The state reported.

A mall security guard identified as J. Canty said The state that this is still an active shooter situation, with the belief that there may still be one or more shooters inside the mall. He also said the lockdown could last for hours as officers try to evacuate the mall.

Cindy Rectenwald, one of those at the mall, said she was at the food court with her daughter when the shooting began.

Rectenwald said The state that they thought the gunshots were the sound of rain hitting the glass roof of the mall until they saw people, who were “screaming and screaming”, as they ran for the doors of the mall. leaving the food court.

She then fled the area with the crowd and took refuge under a table for a moment when the shooting stopped.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division SWAT and regional officers also assist police.

Colombia Police Department also tweeted“If you need to pick up loved ones, the collection area is 320 Columbiana Drive – Fairfield Inn. We are working on a transit option to get people who may still be near the mall to the assembly area.”

Newsweek contacted the Columbia Police Department for comment.

Update 4/16/22, 6:01 PM ET: This story has been updated with additional information and information.


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