INDIA

Ten People Shot At In South Carolina Mall, 2 Injured. Three Detained

New Delhi: Ten people were shot at in a mall in South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, on Saturday afternoon (local time), and two others were injured in the shooting, news agency The Associated Press (AP) reported. 

Authorities do not believe that the shooting was a random attack, an AP report said. 

Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said that three people who had firearms have been detained in connection with the Saturday afternoon (local time) shooting at Columbiana Centre.

Holbrook said that authorities believe that the persons who were involved in the shooting knew each other and something led to the gunfire. 

“We don’t believe this was random,” Holbrook was quoted as saying in the report. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire,” he further said.

Though no fatalities have been reported so far, eight of the victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said. Two of the eight patients taken to the hospital were in a critical condition, and six were stable, Holbrook said. 

He added that the victims belonged to the age group of 15 to 73. 

Daniel Johnson, a person who was present in the mall with his family on Saturday, said they were visiting Alabama and were eating in the food court when they first heard shots ring out and started seeing people running.

Describing the situation, Johnson said that people were screaming for their children and spouses. As some people fled, they knocked over tables in the food court, he said.

“Everybody was trying to get outside,” Johnson said. “When I was coming out, you could see baby strollers turned over, people’s phones and left keys. It was kind of a hectic situation,” he further said. 

He said that he gathered his wife, daughter and son and began heading toward the exit after letting the crowd clear out for a bit.

Johnson said his biggest thing was to make sure that his family was okay and to get them out safely because this is not something that they love to do for Easter weekend.

Hours after the shooting, heavy police presence continued in the area. Some officers were stationed outside a nearby hotel designated as a reunification area for people at the scene of the shooting and their families, according to the report.  

On Saturday evening (local time), workers from a couple of stores remained clustered in the mostly empty parking lot. They were waiting for the police to let them back inside to retrieve their car keys and personal belongings in order to leave.

The workers said that they did not hear or see anything during the shooting. They followed the mall’s alert system and were evacuated by the police shortly after. 

“Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted,” Columbiana Centre said in a statement. ,

The report stated that the Saturday afternoon shooting is the latest in a rash of shootings at or near malls across the country.

On Wednesday (local time), a 15-year-old boy was shot in the head outside Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal Mall.

A Southern California shoe store owner mistakenly shot a 9-year-old girl while firing at two shoplifters at the Mall of Victor Valley on Tuesday (local time), the police said.

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