Local officials said shoppers rushed to the shelter on Black Friday after a shooting at a shopping center in North Carolina, injuring three people, including a 10-year-old boy.
Police Chief Patrice Andrews told a news conference that the shooting happened during a fight between two groups who knew each other on The Streets Street in Southpoint, Durham.
One of the victims was a 10-year-old boy who was shot, Andrew said. The child was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police did not immediately provide information on the condition of the other two people who were shot.
Three more people were injured when shoppers rushed to evacuate after the horrific incident, the chief said. Medical care was provided for their non-life-threatening injuries.
According to police, those involved in the brawl that led to the shooting immediately fled.
One suspect was in custody and Andrew promised “several arrests” in connection with the incident. One weapon was found at the scene.
Andrew said he was confident the incident was not “absolutely” a planned attack and that there was no threat to the public in the future.
“It’s not a situation where someone enters a mall and starts firing indiscriminately,” Andrew told reporters and “the shootings in this city need to stop.”
The viewer described the “mass hysteria” as holiday runners entering stores or running to the exit after gunshots echoed in the mall.
Angela Lloyd, who was shopping with her relatives for Christmas, told the Associated Press: “I just heard gunshots and when it happened, everyone turned around, ran and started screaming.
“Some people ran to the shops, some people almost went into the shops. Just like mass hysteria. “
Mary Moore, who was walking with a cane, told local WRAL-TV that she was shopping at the mall on Black Friday and said, “Pop! Pop! Pop! ”
“I at least got my clothes on,” he said in an interview with The News and Observer. “Some people dropped their bags. I just took my things and ran. “
“Suddenly I saw this gang running,” WRAL reporter Aaron Thomas was at the mall at the Express store.
“Do you feel like you don’t know what to do at the time, do you run out, or do you stay in the store and try to hunt? We locked it and they locked the doors, ”Thomas said tweeted about the incident from inside the mall.
A Sunglass Hut employee described caring for customers when a riot broke out.
“We were working with customers, then we saw people start running and screaming, then everyone started panicking now,” the employee said.
Police evacuated the mall after the shooting, resulting in heavy traffic as thousands of people tried to leave their homes, WRAL reported.
With post wires