Columbia Police Chief W.H. Columbia has detained three people with firearms in connection to Saturday's shooting at Columbiana Center. "Skip," Holbrook stated. He claimed that at least one of the three men fired a weapon.
Holbrook stated, "We don’t believe that this was accidental." "We believe that they knew each other, and that something led to the gunfire."
According to authorities, there have been no reports of fatalities. However, eight victims were admitted to hospital. Holbrook stated that six of the victims were stable and two were in critical conditions. He said that the victims were aged between 15 and 73.
Daniel Johnson stated that he was visiting his family from Alabama, and they were dining in the food court at the time when shots were rang out. They then started to see people run.
Johnson stated that people were running for their spouses and children, knocking on tables in the food court, as they fled.
Johnson stated, "Everybody was trying get outside." "You could see people's phones and keys, as well as baby strollers, when I came out. It was quite chaotic.
Johnson stated that he had gathered his wife and daughter, and started heading towards the exit after clearing out the crowd.
"My greatest thing was, and this is not to sound selfish, to make sure my family was okay and get them out safely. This is not something we love to do on Easter weekend."
The police were still present in the area for hours following the shooting. However, officers allowed more traffic to the streets around the strip malls and shopping centers that are often jammed on weekends. A nearby hotel was designated as a reunification zone for victims and their families.
A few workers from two stores remained huddled in the empty lot Saturday night, waiting for police officers to allow them to go back inside to retrieve car keys and personal items so that they could leave. They claimed they didn't hear or see anything, but they followed the mall’s alert system until police evacuated them. They refused to identify themselves, citing company policies.
Columbiana Centre released a statement saying that "Today's isolated and senseless act de violence is extremely distressing" "We are grateful to the swift response and continued support from our security team, and our law enforcement partners."
This is the latest shooting in a string of shootings near or at malls all across the country.
A 15-year old boy was shot in his head Wednesday near Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal Mall. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening. Officials stated that he was in a fight with another group of boys.
Police said that a Southern California shoe shop owner shot a 9 year old girlinadvertently while firing at two shoplifters at The Mall of Victor Valley on Tuesday.
Police said earlier this month that six people were shot and killed in Sacramento, California.