Heavily armed police secure the area after reports that a gunman fired shots at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. Photo by Reuters
A person with a gun opened fire in a massive New Jersey
shopping mall shortly before closing time, leading police to
evacuate the mall and search for the shooter.
No injuries were
Witnesses said they heard multiple shots seconds apart inside
the Garden State Plaza mall in the northern New Jersey town
of Paramus, while CNN reported that the shooter had fired at
Televised images from outside showed a heavy police presence
with dozens of cruisers converging at the mall.
"Multiple gunshots were heard. We believe it is one shooter.
I know there is an active shooter near the Nordstrom area,"
said Jeanne Baratta, Chief of Staff at Bergen County, where
the town is located. She added that a police SWAT team was on
The police "believe the gunman is still in the mall," Baratta
said. "Right now the Bergen County SWAT team along with the
K-9 unit and other law enforcement are going store by store.
It's a very large mall with multiple levels."
Jonathan Astacio, a witness who was inside the mall, told CNN
he heard several shots: "We heard two loud booms ... Then we
heard two more shots and saw people running."
The mayor of Paramus, Richard LaBarbiera, told reporters that
no injuries had yet been reported.
One woman at a store in the mall, who asked Reuters not to
disclose what store she was hiding in, reported hearing
"I heard the shooting. We're still stuck in the stock room
right now. I personally heard five shots," said the woman.
Afraid the shooter may still be free, she said: "I haven't
gone out again."