Mall employees and patrons are held in a theatre lobby as
law enforcement officials speak with them as potential
witnesses in a shooting at the Mall of Columbia.
Three people have died in a shooting at a large shopping
mall outside Baltimore on Saturday, including the suspected
gunman who apparently killed himself, police said.
Howard County Police said they believed the mall in Columbia,
Maryland, was secure and they were contacting shoppers to
help them leave the complex.
Police said they did not immediately know the identities of
the dead and did not know the motive of the shooter. The
shooting happened at a skate shop called Zumiez on the mall's
An emergency 911 call was received at about 11:15am reporting
that shots had been fired at the Mall of Columbia, a
sprawling shopping center with about 200 stores about 48 km
north of Washington, D.C.
"We had officers quickly get into the area and we were able
to identify three victims at an upper level store in the
Columbia Mall, one of those victims appears to be the
shooter," Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon told
"We are very confident that it was a single shooter and there
are no other shooters in the mall," he said.
Five people were injured during the shooting, but only one
suffered a gunshot wound, according to a spokeswoman at
Howard County General Hospital, where the victims were taken
for treatment. All the victims were in good condition,
spokeswoman Susan Case said. Police said one of the victims
had a gunshot wound to the foot.
The suspected shooter was found near a shotgun and
ammunition, police said.
At the time of the shooting the mall was crowded with weekend
shoppers, many of whom sheltered in place after hearing the
shots or seeing people fleeing.
"So right now we still have many, many people still in the
mall who have secured themselves inside stores," McMahon
said, adding that officers were helping people leave the
Colin Reddy, who works at the mall, told CNN he heard about
eight or nine shots in all.
"We thought it was construction because there's a lot of
construction going on at the mall right now. Then I heard it
again. Like 'boom, boom, boom'. And then everybody started
running," he said.
Reddy said he and the other employees closed the store's gate
and waited in a back room for police to arrive.
Tonya Broughton of Silver Spring, Maryland, said she and a
friend were getting facials when they noticed other shoppers
"It was panic. We just headed for the nearest store,
Victoria's Secret," she said, adding that the store's
employees herded everyone to the rear of the store.
"They were very, nice, keeping us calm. They told is we were
safe," she said.
The attack in Columbia follows a shooting at a New Jersey
mall in November in which a gunman fired at least six shots
without hitting anyone, sparking a mass evacuation of the
complex, then killing himself.