Police investigate Black Friday mall shooting in Washington
Police in Washington state on Saturday were investigating a shooting at a shopping mall that left one person seriously wounded and sent hundreds of Black Friday shoppers fleeing for exits or hiding in stores.
As of Saturday afternoon, no arrests had been reported in the previous night's shooting at the Tacoma Mall, south of Seattle.
The shooting began just after 7 p.m. Friday near the mall's food court. Officer Gary Wurges, a spokesperson for the Tacoma Police Department, said two off duty officers working at the mall quickly called in that shots had been fired.
One person, a male, was injured in the shooting and taken to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries. He was in stable condition.
As shoppers fled the gunfire, officers attempted to locate the shooter. More than 60 law enforcement officers from Tacoma, Pierce County, Lakewood, Puyallup and the Washington State Patrol responded.
Seattle television station KOMO reported that officers working in the mall saw a small group get into a dispute that escalated with gunfire.
As the mall went into lockdown, shoppers left inside sheltered in place or hid inside stores.
“We were about to get up and I hear about six shots or something,” Daisey Dockter, who was finishing a meal with her aunt and uncle when gunfire broke out, told KOMO. “We all just start running toward the door. It’s a huge mob of people. Everyone’s kind of pushing.”
Fredrick Hoskins was shopping with his daughter when he heard gunfire.
“There was a boom, boom, boom … boom, boom, boom. Maybe like six shots,” Hoskins, who previously served in the military, told The News Tribune. “It sounded like a revolver, and it sounded like one shooter.”
The Tacoma Mall is Tacoma's largest shopping mall, with more than 100 stores.