Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day to celebrate family and friends, but it turned terrifying for shoppers running for cover when a gunman opened fire inside Alabama’s largest mall.
Chaos erupted inside the mall packed with Black Friday shoppers. Maveny White, a witness: “All of a sudden I heard my manager yell there’s gunshots.”
A shooting at the Riverchase Galleria near Birmingham, after two people got into a fight.
The alleged gunman shot an 18-year-old man outside a store, and then tried to run away from the area.
A shopper describes the scene: “I heard one, and then bang bang, and then right after that people started screaming and going crazy just to get away from it and then cops ran by us with their guns drawn.”
Police officers on duty for the holiday season reacting quickly.
Lexie Joyner, a witness: “They stuffed us in supply closets and locked the doors. We sat there for 5-10 minutes freaking out and they opened the escape route doors.”
Alabama.com reporting “several shoppers” were seen with their guns drawn.
Police say one officer confronted the suspected gunman, shot and killed him. Captain Gregg Rector, Hoover Police Dept: “We were fortunate that officer was there where he needed to be. We believe at this point maybe he prevented further injuries.”
Caught in the crossfire, a 12-year-old girl. Captain Gregg Rector: “The last we heard she was alert, conscious, and talking.”
Those who were inside say they’re grateful for mall employees who helped keep the scary situation calm. A shopper describes the scene: “As soon as everyone started screaming they were like shut the doors, shut the doors, they was very courteous of what was happening.”
The Jefferson County district attorney’s office will be involved in the investigation since the suspected gunman was killed by police.
The Riverchase Galleria reopened Friday morning for Black Friday.