A gunman reportedly opened fire during Black Friday shopping at a mall in Hoover, Alabama, before being shot and killed by police.
As WTVM 13 reported, the shooting took place at the Riverchase Galleria Mall as crowds gathered for the start of Black Friday shopping in the state’s largest mall. The exact circumstances of the shooting were not clear, but Hoover police said that the suspect was dead in an officer-involved shooting.
Video from inside the mall showed a chaotic scene, with police ushering crowds out of the mall in the wake of the shooting. Another video showed crowd of people sprinting away from the area of the mall where the shooting broke out.
Witnesses told WBRC that there were two different rounds of gunfire, with the shootings taking place between J.C. Penney and Foot Action near the mall’s food court. The report noted that several people were injured, including one person who was taken out by paramedics while holding what appeared to be a gunshot wound. In another video, a body could be seen on the ground in front of Foot Action while police stood nearby.
Police have not yet confirmed what other injuries resulted from the Black Friday shooting.
The pictures and videos of the Alabama mall shooting quickly spread across social media. Many captured the immediate aftermath, and other images showed store employees sheltering shoppers inside storage rooms after the shooting broke out.
Someone posted this shooting in the mall at river riverchase Galleria in Hoover Alabama on Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/3WczyXqu7A— NIKKI (@braxtonthings) November 23, 2018
The mall had seen violence on past Black Fridays as well. Last year, a series of fights broke out in the Riverchase Galleria including reports of possible gunfire, though police never confirmed if a shooting took place and no one was shot.
As AL.com reported, the 2017 incident led to an early end to shopping that day. The mall opened to shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening and was supposed to be open until midnight, but officials had to close it nearly an hour early and usher out shoppers. The city sent additional police officers when it opened the following day.
Some of the shoppers in Riverchase Galleria when the shooting broke out this year were apparently aware of the mall’s reputation from past Black Friday disturbances.
“This was my first Black Friday, I knew it would be crazy, just not this crazy,” one young shopper told AL.com.
Police in Hoover, Alabama, have not yet released any information about the person who opened fire inside the mall.