Columbiana Center Mall shooting leaves 10 injured, police say

COLUMBIA, SC – A holiday weekend was interrupted by violence as 10 people were shot dead in a crowded South Carolina mall on Saturday an...

COLUMBIA, SC – A holiday weekend was interrupted by violence as 10 people were shot dead in a crowded South Carolina mall on Saturday and two others were injured in an ensuing stampede during the gunfire , authorities said.

Two of the injured were in critical condition, Columbia Police Department Chief William H. Holbrook said at a news conference.

Police received a call at 2:03 p.m. about a shooting near the Gap store at the Columbiana Center mall. It’s unclear what led to the shooting, but three people were arrested, though they haven’t been charged, Chief Holbrook said. At least one of them had fired a weapon, he said.

“We don’t think it’s random,” he said. “We believe that the individuals who were armed knew each other and that some type of conflict occurred that culminated in the shooting.”

The ages of the injured ranged from 15 to 73 years. Prisma Health hospitals treated nine patients, who were later discharged, and admitted two, Tammie Epps, a spokeswoman for Prisma, said in an email. The condition of the 12th patient was not immediately known.

The shooting, over a busy weekend on the eve of Easter, had shoppers at the mall rushing for their safety.

Blair Mcilravy and Kailana Brown, both 11, were shopping at Palmetto Moon, a clothing store, on Saturday, intending to attend the University of South Carolina spring football game next.

Then a series of gunshots rang out. Kailana’s mother quickly escorted them to a supply closet to hide.

“We heard people screaming and running and gunshots,” Blair said.

They had to call Blair’s mother, Keri Mcilravy, from a landline because Blair could only receive one text – “Mom” – before her cell phone stopped working. When Ms Mcilravy arrived at the mall, the girls had been escorted outside by law enforcement officers.

“I went into combat mode,” Ms Mcilravy said when she heard a shooting had trapped her daughter. “We broke all the traffic laws to get there.”

Police, who went from store to store in a methodical sweep of the mall, ordered workers to shelter in place and wait for law enforcement to arrive. “DO NOT leave a store until you have been instructed to do so by the relevant authorities”, said the police on Twitter.

In parking lots near the mall, officers — some wearing vests labeled “US Marshal” or jackets marked “FBI” — huddled under tents and next to squad cars, trying to figure out why a Saturday afternoon of shopping had been punctured by gunfire.

Brookfield Properties, owner of the Columbiana Centerdescribes the mall as “ideally located to serve the affluent and rapidly growing northern and northwest suburbs of Columbia, the capital of South Carolina and home of the University of South Carolina”.

In a statement on Twitter, mall management said: ‘Today’s isolated and senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with all those affected. We are grateful for the quick response and continued support from our security team and law enforcement partners.

A nearby hotel that was used as a site to reunite those who had fled the mall with their family members was packed after the shooting, said a woman who described the panic on people’s faces as they waited for their relatives. But a few hours later, it was mainly law enforcement officers who lingered there.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Columbiana Center Mall shooting leaves 10 injured, police say
Columbiana Center Mall shooting leaves 10 injured, police say
Newsrust - US Top News
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