ABC News is reporting about a shooting incident at a Wisconsin Mall. Multiple gunshots were fired at the East Towne Mall in Madison, confirms the Wisconsin State Journal. The report also adds that officials from the Madison Police Department are on the scene. Initial reports say that the shots appeared to have been fired inside the mall between Boston Store and the Hallmark Store at 2:50 p.m., local time, Saturday.
There was panic inside the mall and several shoppers were seen running for cover. Officials from the mall have also issued an evacuation order. The Wisconsin State Journal also cited Lester Callahan, an employee at Gordman’s — one of the many stores located in the mall. He confirmed that several shoppers ran in to his store in panic soon after the sound of gunshots were heard. Some people even hid under garment racks.
Meanwhile, a WKOW News 27 report says that a man has been shot inside the mall and that emergency responders were on site administering CPR to the victim. According to Jason Cain, an eyewitness, several police officers were seen running through the mall in search of the assailant. He also confirmed that several stores were being shut down. Another report by BNO News adds that there was some sort of a dispute before the shooting started.
— boppinmule (@boppinmule) December 19, 2015
— 13WHAM (@13WHAM) December 19, 2015
Updates: Police say a man has been shot in the thigh and has suffered a non-life threatening injury.
According to police spokesman, Joel DeSpain, the incident happened after a dispute between two groups. One person, who is yet to be identified, has been transported to a nearby hospital with a wound on the leg. He added that it seems to have been a dispute between two groups of teenage boys. He has also ruled out the possibility of terrorism. Another officer further added that there were at least 10 people who were involved in the shooting incident, of which several have been already detained by the Madison Police. It remains unclear if police officials have managed to recover any weapons from the shooters. The injured individual is now thought to be a 19-year-old male. An employee at the mall was also injured in the incident. He was grazed by a ricocheting bullet in the lower leg and was treated on the spot.
Meanwhile, the mall’s website has posted a “temporarily closed due to a safety concern,” on its official website.
“We don’t believe this is related to terrorism. This was obviously not a mass shooting. This is not an active shooter. This is an incident where we had young people as we have seen in many areas of the city who were in a dispute and one of them pulled out a firearm and unfortunately shot a gun in the middle of East Towne Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year,” DeSpain added.
Police officials later certified the mall to be safe and by late afternoon, it was reopened again. The area where the shooting happened however remained closed. Officials are also questioning the injured teen as well as the witnesses who saw it all happen. They are also sifting through surveillance video from the mall in a move to identify the others involved in the shooting.
Immediately after the news of the shooting came, there were concerns if this was another terrorism related incident – like the recent San Bernardino shootings in which 14 people lost their lives.
[Image Via Corey Coyle/Panoramio]